Infantino vows to reform FIFA if he is elected president in February
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino says he would reform FIFA from his first day in the job if he is elected president.
Infantino has vowed to clean up FIFA from "day one" if he wins February’s election, after an evening of close discussions with his Asian rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
The general secretary of the European body was speaking after sitting side-by-side with Sheikh Salman, another leading contender for FIFA, at Sunday’s Asian football awards near New Delhi.
"Reforms need to be not only agreed but they need to be implemented as well," the Italian said.
"So as of day one, 27th of February, you have to start implementing and living the reforms, and from doing it on a day-by-day basis in UEFA I know what it means — good governance, financial transparency, structure of changes that are being proposed."
Infantino and Sheikh Salman, president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), were seen having cordial discussions during the awards ceremony and gala dinner in Gurgaon.
A third FIFA candidate, Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, who has been at odds with Sheikh Salman in the past, was seated elsewhere.
Neither Prince Ali or Sheikh Salman were prepared to discuss their FIFA ambitions, but the Bahraini royal gave an indication of Asia’s growing clout and ambition in his opening address.
"Sheikh Salman is obviously the president of a very important confederation, the AFC. It’s normal that he has the backing here, the same as I have the backing in Europe," Infantino said.
"South America has expressed also their backing for me which another important football confederation… what I hope and what I think will happen is we can debate."