PRAGUE: UEFA’s eight members of the FIFA executive committee will hold their own discussions about a common stance on how soon the world federation should elect its new president writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Wolfgang Niersbach, head of the German DFB and a new European delegate to the world federation, has made no secret of his own belief that Sepp Blatter, having announced his impending departure four days after re-election, should depart as soon as possible.
FIFA’s executive committee has planned a special meeting in Zurich on Monday, July 20, when a date will be set for the extraordinary elective congress. December 16 was an early favourite but Blatter has suggested January so as to steer clear of the Club World Cup in Japan in mid-December.
Gianni Infantino, UEFA’s general secretary, reiterated the need for an end to uncertainty after the European body’s own executive committee meeting here in Prague ahead of the European under-21 final.
He said: “The roadmap has been set. There is a FIFA executive meeting on July 20 when the date of the congress will be fixed and then we will know more. Obviously the sooner the better.
“The eight UEFA members [of the FIFA exco] will discuss this matter ahead of the meeting and the sooner there is clarity about what will happen the better for FIFA and the better for football.”
David Gill from England is one of the eight; he had insisted last month that he would not take up his FIFA exco seat while Blatter remained president. Gill was absent from the extraordinary FIFA exco meeting the day after congress in Zurich on May 29.
Infantino denied suggestions that UEFA president Michel Platini might have been preparing the ground for a possible FIFA bid in negotiations with the Asian confederation’s Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
Platini was a guest at the official opening in Lausanne recently of the new headquarters of the Olympic Solidarity movement over which Sheikh Ahmad also presides.
Infantino said: “There are no deals. It’s not a question of making deals. Of course there are discussions but the focus has to be on saving football or FIFA or whatever. It’s important that football organisations are positive and speak to each other; it’s more important than about one person.”
Infantino dismissed apparently critical comments by FIFA compliance chairman Domenico Scala about UEFA’s stance on integrity checks as “maybe more of a communication issue.”
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