BRIDGETOWN: Gianni Infantino has said he is confident he can win the FIFA presidency after a positive weekend campaigning in the Caribbean.
The general secretary of European federation UEFA attended a meeting on Sunday of the Caribbean Football Union and claimed he won the backing of the Barbados Football Association.
Infantino was not the only candidate present. So were Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein and Jerome Champagne who both proposed significant assistance packages to developing countries in their own presentations to the CFU’s general meeting in Antigua.
According to Infantino, BFA president Randy Harris told him of “excellent feedback” from CFU members.
Infantino dismissed speculation of a deal with rival candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa which would see him accept the role of general secretary if the Bahraini head of the Asian confederation were to be elected as FIFA head next February 26.
He said: “I am going for the win. I am a candidate for the presidency and this support gives me even more responsibility and even more will to go until the end to become president of FIFA.
“I am candidate for president not for general secretary and I have support from all over the world and many more will come out… With a lot of respect for all the candidates of course, I am there to become FIFA president.”
Harris said Infantino’s message about development programmes for countries outside the the traditional football markets, had gone down well with delegates.
“His platform is about football and improving the game and of course a small country like Barbados we need that kind of vision,” said Harris.
Infantino, who said he had proposed increasing funding for development programmes, responded: “This is certainly a major support from outside of Europe. I think it is the first open support to any of the candidates from outside of their ‘own continent’.”
Infantino’s manifesto plans, which will be unveiled this week, had been at the centre of his presentation.
He said: “I spoke about reforms that are needed for FIFA, I spoke about having associations participate much more in FIFA life, for FIFA to become a real democracy.”