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Gianni Infantino secures backing to potentially extend FIFA presidency until 2031

Gianni Infantino has received support from FIFA Council for a potential extension of his presidency to 2031, beyond the 12-year limit he was allowed to extend in the reforms to the scandal-plagued soccer body he helped to create.

He is eligible to run world football for $3m (PS2.46m), and is not up for re-election in March.

Today, the FIFA ruling body presided over by Mr Infantino confirmed that he is only currently serving his first term in office as president. It did not consider his previous three years of power as part of term limits.

After scandals that threw Sepp Blatter off his feet and threatened the future FIFA, Mr Infantino was elected to finish the term of his disgraced predecessor at a special election in 2016.


The FIFA Congress re-elected Mr. Infantino in 2019. This has been decided in private in Qatar and will count as his first term.

At the meeting of 211 member associations, the Swiss-Italian will again be elected for another term.

Former UEFA general secretary may then be eligible to run world football for four more years, from 2027-2031 – making him fifteen years in the job.

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The FIFA reform committee stated in December that the future president should not serve more than three terms of four year (whether consecutively or not) for a maximum period of twelve years.

If you take out the last sentence, Mr. Infantino would need to resign in 2028.

However, at a news conference in Qatar today, Mr Infantino stated that the FIFA Council had provided “clarifications that concern me”.

He said: “The clarification in regard to my term. Currently, I am in my first term. On March 16, when the FIFA president is elected in Kigali, Rwanda, my second term as FIFA president begins. There are three terms.

Image Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, shakes hands during the Qatar World Cup

The term limits were established to stop football leaders from staying in power for too long and creating political dependence on their leader.

FIFA President for 17 years, Mr. Blatter and his predecessor Joao Arelange held the position for 24 years.

In his previous role as the head for administration at the European governing body, UEFA General Secretary, Mr Infantino held a position on FIFA’s reform committee.

After Michel Platini, then UEFA president, was suspended in October 2015, his candidacy for FIFA presidency was announced.


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