Even without support from Germany, Fifa President Gianni Infantino has been confirmed in office. The 52-year-old Swiss was elected for the third time at the World Football Association Congress in Kigali on Thursday, he is starting his second full term. The vote was taken in the BK Arena in the Rwandan capital by acclamation - the delegates showed their agreement with applause, Infantino was the only candidate.
The German Football Association, like the Swedish and Norwegian associations, announced on Wednesday that they did not want to actively support the Swiss. Fifa must "become much more open and transparent in dealing with the national associations," said DFB President Bernd Neuendorf. "In your own interest, you should explain how and why certain decisions are made and who was involved in them. That has not always been the case recently."
However, Infantino enjoys the support of the vast majority of the 211 FIFA national associations. Under his leadership, the world association has achieved great economic success since Infantino took over the tenure of Joseph Blatter in early 2016. Revenues of at least eleven billion US dollars are expected by 2026, with most of the money being passed on to the associations.
"Fifa's money is your money," Infantino said again at the congress. Shortly before the election, he referred to his own merits: "If an entrepreneur were to announce that dividends would be increased sevenfold, they would keep him forever, then it wouldn't just be about a four-year mandate."
Born like his predecessor Blatter (87) in the Swiss Valais, Infantino was General Secretary of the European Football Union Uefa before moving to FIFA. After replacing Blatter, he was elected to his first full term in the summer of 2019. Since the first almost three and a half years are not counted, Infantino can be re-elected for four years in 2027.
In Germany and other parts of Europe, the Swiss is highly controversial. A number of affairs and inconsistencies shaped the image of the Fifa President. In Switzerland, two special public prosecutors are investigating an opaque judicial affair against Infantino, who rejects all allegations.