NYON: Gianni Infantino is leading the way in the FIFA election campaign in terms, at least, of voting intention transparency writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
In contract to his bashful opponents – concealing their apparent uncertainties behind a veneer of politely diplomatic confidentiality – the general secretary of European federation UEFA believes he has six votes in the bag.
Last weekend Infantino returned from a Caribbean Football Union conference assured of the vote of Barbados to which Germany and Portugal quickly added their voices. Now two more European voters have stood up in the shape of Iceland and Switzerland – Infantino is Swiss – with Surinam from central America.
Infantino has the advantage of a €500,000 campaign war chest provided by UEFA, a factor which has raised some eyebrows among European federations who have not decided formally where they should cast their vote.
Paul Philipp, head of the Luxembourg federation, is one assoication president who has gone public on the need for UEFA to proceed with caution.
One of the most delicate issues which Infantino must counter beyond Europe is a perception that he represents UEFA’s desire for significant power within the 209-member world governing body. How this should be managed is an issue which has been discussed at the side of the European federation’s meetings this week in Nyon.