Gianni Infantino was re-elected as FIFA president during the 73rd Congress in Kigali, Rwanda on Thursday.
Infantino stood unopposed, making his re-election as head of football’s governing body a formality, even if not universally popular among member associations for a number of reasons, including pushing for a failed plan to play the World Cup every two years.
– Stream on ESPN+: La Liga, Bundesliga, more (US)
The FIFA president opened his remarks with an anecdote describing how he came to Kigali when he first campaigned in 2016 and almost dropped out of the race, comparing it to how Rwanda refused to recover after the 1994 genocide.
“It’s an incredible honor and privilege and a great responsibility,” Infantino said. “I promise to continue to serve FIFA and football around the world.
“Those who love me, and I know there are many, and those who hate me… I love you all.”
Infantino confirmed that FIFA’s revenue reached record levels in the last cycle from 2019-22, but promised to increase it significantly again on the back of expanded men’s and women’s World Cup tournaments and the introduction of the 32-team Club World Cup.
“Revenues rose to a record $7.5 billion [in 2022] In a period hit by Covid-19. When I arrived, Fifa’s reserves were about $1 billion, today they are about $4 billion,” Infantino said.
“We are promising new record revenue for the next cycle of $11 billion, and the new Club World Cup is not included in that figure, so it could go up by several billion. [more]”
Infantino said FIFA would continue to review the transfer system to “improve transparency” and suggested the organization could discuss the salary cap.
“We must improve our regulations and FIFA laws. We will look to develop our governance principles and look at the transfer system and negotiate to improve the transparency of transfer fees and salaries.
“It may require the introduction of a cap, we have to think about how we can do that. We will look at it with all the stakeholders and see what we can do.”
Infantino was first elected in an extraordinary congress in 2016 after the resignation of his predecessor, Sepp Blatter, and held his position unopposed three years later.
But this counts as his second term and hence he will be available for a third and final term in four years.