By Spy Uganda
Gianni Infantino has been re-elected as president of FIFA for four more years, after running unopposed at the congress of world football’s ruling body.
The 52-year-old Swiss-Italian lawyer was confirmed in office by acclamation at the gathering in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, on Thursday.
It is officially his first re-election since he initially took over the remaining term of his suspended predecessor, Joseph Blatter, in 2016. This means he can seek another term in 2027 until 2031, according to FIFA statutes.
Infantino’s re-election was a formality after no other candidate came forward, even if he is not universally popular among member associations for a range of reasons, including pushing for a failed plan to play the World Cup every two years. Several European countries, including Germany, Norway and Sweden, have not been happy with his presidency and said they would not actively support him.
“Let me simply thank all of you,” Infantino told delegates after being confirmed by a standing ovation at the 73rd FIFA Congress, where the voting system did not register the number of dissident voices.
“Those who love me, you are many, and the few who hate me, I love you all,” he said.
“Being FIFA president is a big honour and privilege but also a huge responsibility. You can continue to trust on my commitment.”
The men’s World Cup will increase from 32 teams to 48 for the next edition in North America in 2026, while the women’s World Cup will feature 32 teams for the first time in Australia and New Zealand later this year.
Infantino has also announced a projected income of $11bn in the four years up to 2026, compared with $7.5bn in the last four-year cycle ending in 2022.