Following the October 26 deadline, for candidates to submit their nomination to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino has agreed to stand as a candidate.
Following an emergency meeting of UEFA’s executive committee on Monday, the European soccer’s governing body, gave their unanimous backing to its general secretary.
In a short statement, Uefa said Infantino was the right man to rebuild Fifa following the corruption scandal which forced Blatter to call early elections.
The statement reads: “The forthcoming election for a new Fifa President represents a crucial moment in the governance of the game and the future of Fifa itself.
“We believe that Gianni Infantino has all of the qualities required to tackle the major challenges ahead and to lead the organisation on a path of reform to restore Fifa’s integrity and credibility.”
“Gianni has done a great job at UEFA, has a proven track record as a top-class administrator and built positive relations with football stakeholders around the globe. He has been a long-time advocate of the need for change and renewed development at FIFA and would bring a refreshing and informed voice to the top table of football’s world governing body.
“We are delighted that Gianni has agreed to stand and he knows that he has our full support in his campaign to become FIFA president. He is in the process of submitting the required nominations and will issue a statement on his candidacy later today.”
Infantino himself confirmed the decision, saying he is honoured to be given the opportunity to run for football’s most powerful position.
“I can confirm that following the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee, I have today submitted my candidature, with the required declarations of support, to become the next Fifa President.
“Throughout my time in football I have always worked hard to serve the best interests of our great game and to support the principles of good governance and genuine integrity. I am very proud of what we have achieved at Uefa and the way in which we conduct ourselves as an organisation. The values at the heart of Uefa are shared by many in the global football family.
“I will in due course be setting out my detailed thinking in a manifesto which will address the challenges and opportunities ahead. It will be based on the need for reform and also for a FIFA that genuinely serves the interests of all 209 national associations, big or small, and that puts football and football development at the top of its agenda.”
“If elected I would lead that change in partnership with all who want to see a Fifa worthy of governing the world’s number one sport with dignity and respect.”
“I am humbled and honoured to be entering this election with a vision for a renewed Fifa serving football and all its stakeholders and with such strong support from so many friends and colleagues.”
Other probable candidates vying for the FIFA job include Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, South African tycoon Tokyo Sexwale, former FIFA official Jerome Champagne and David Nakhid, a former player from Trinidad and Tobago.
The deadline for candidates to register their nomination closes at midnight on Tuesday.