The Cleaner

infantino   Since Gianni Infantino became FIFA President last year, he has removed every major player in the game of football politics that opposed or challenged him. The Swiss promised reforms, instead he is acting more and more like an autocrat. By Pål Ødegård and Håvard Melnæs «We will restore the image of FIFA, the respect of FIFA, and everyone will applaud us.» These were the words of Gianni Infantino, a few moments after he was elected FIFA President in Zurich on 26 February last year. After the arrests of high profile FIFA members and the damage done by his predecessors, the message from the new President was clear: This was a new beginning. 15 months later, the picture is even clearer. The election of Infantino didn’t represent a new start, rather more of the same old. One source with a prominent position at FIFA, tells Josimar: «I saw it right away that Infantino wasn’t a reformer. That became evident during his first week in office. He just wanted the power, and didn’t care how he got it.» And it’s fitting for what Infantino represents, that this year’s FIFA Congress took place in Bahrain – where even basic human rights is a privilege for the few. Mexican standoff Already a couple of months into Infantino’s tenure, at the FIFA Congress in Mexico City in May 2016, alarm bells started ringing. A sound recording from the meeting of the now defunct Executive Committee revealed how desperate Gianni Infantino was ...

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