Gianni Infantino is set to be re-elected as President of FIFA after potential challenger Ramon Vega failed to secure the required five nominations by yesterday’s deadline.
FIFA confirmed that Infantino, who took the helm at FIFA in February 2016, was the sole candidate for the position.
The Swiss-Italian was the only one to receive five nomination letters from the 211 Member Associations and will seal his first full four-year term as President at FIFA’s Congress in Paris on June 5 providing he passes eligibility and integrity checks.
Vega, a former Swiss international turned financier, declared his intention to run against Infantino last week but was unable to gain the five nominations.
The 47-year-old, the founder and chief executive of London-based company Vega Swiss Asset Management who won 23 caps for Switzerland, had embarked on a campaign in a bid to secure the required support.
Vega previously considered standing for FIFA President in 2016 but his candidacy never came to fruition.
He would have been a rank outsider even if he managed to enter the race this time around as Infantino, elected to finish the term of disgraced predecessor Sepp Blatter following his resignation amid the corruption scandal, has a strong degree of support.
Infantino has already been given the backing of the Oceania Football Confederation and the South American Football Confederation in his bid to seal a full four-year term at the helm of the governing body.
The 48-year-old former UEFA general secretary is also thought to have a considerable stranglehold in Africa.
Infantino’s radical plans for a revamp of the football calendar, including changes to the Club World Cup and the creation of a global Nations League, have irked some of Europe’s members, however.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has been at the forefront of the opposition to the proposals and threatened to lead a walkout of officials from European football’s governing body at a fractious FIFA Council meeting in October if the issue was put to a vote.
It is thought Infantino has declined an invitation to attend UEFA’s Congress in Rome tomorrow, suggesting relations between the FIFA head and the continental organisation remain strained.
Infantino’s conduct as FIFA President was again called into question late last year after information obtained by the hacking group Football Leaks allegedly showed he had directly influenced changes to the FIFA ethics code. insidethegames