With Blatter gone, AIFF looks up to new FIFA chief Infantino

All India Football Federation chief Praful Patel is hopeful of establishing fruitful relations with new FIFA president Gianni Infantino and work towards the development of the game in the country.

India was represented by Patel in the extraordinary congress. Patel congratulated the new FIFA president after his election.   -  Kamal Narang

All India Football Federation (AIFF) chief Praful Patel is hopeful of establishing fruitful relations with new FIFA president Gianni Infantino and work towards the development of the game in the country.





Swiss-Italian Infantino won the presidency of FIFA on Friday with a convincing victory over Asian rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and vowed to lead the scandal-tainted body into a new era.

Rise to top job

Infantino began working at UEFA in 2000 and rose to the position of secretary general in 2009, where he served under president Michel Platini. Platini's suspension and subsequent ban from all football-related activity in relation to a payment made by FIFA and signed off by the also barred Blatter in 2011 left the European confederation needing a fresh candidate for the election.

Also read: > Infantino: Want to see football develop in India

Having helped to implement the expansion of the European Championship from a 16- to 24-team national tournament, Infantino's pre-election pledges include a commitment to increasing the number of countries at the World Cup from 32 to 40.

India was represented by Patel in the extraordinary congress. Patel congratulated the new FIFA president after his election. Patel also posed for a picture with Infantino and FIFA executive committee member Prince Abdullah.

 

Infantino secured 115 votes in the second round of polls, beating off favourite Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa into second while Prince Ali bin Hussein finished third.

President preference

AIFF had earlier revealed to Sportstar its support to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president, Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa.

Infantino succeeds Blatter, who was suspended from all football activities for eight years — later reduced to six — along with ex-Uefa president Michel Platini for corruption.

In what could be of interest to countries such as India, the 45-year-old lawyer Infantino said, “I would like to see a big development of football all over the world. I want to see the Caribbean League playing, academies in Africa, kids playing in Oceania.

“I want to see football growing all over the world and people looking at FIFA as the organisation that helps each country in the world to develop football.”

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