LONDON: England will be casting its vote in next week’s FIFA presidential election for Gianni Infantino, general secretary of European federation UEFA writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

A formal decision to confirm support for the 45-year-old Swiss lawyer was taken at today’s meeting of the Football Association board.

Chairman Greg Dyke said: “We were impressed by Gianni. We were also impressed by Prince Ali [but] we decided to go with the UEFA candidate.”

Infantino is one of five contenders seeking to replace disgraced and banned Sepp Blatter in a ballot at an extraordinary congress of the world federation in Zurich.

Blatter, 79, announced his impending departure last June, only four days after having been re-elected for a fifth term. He blamed pressure of scandal, particularly after corruption charge arrests undertaken at the behest of the United States Department of Justice.

Michel Platini, the French president of UEFA, swiftly announced a candidacy to be Blatter’s successor and was endorsed by the FA, among other European federations.


However Platini was subsequently forced to step aside after being suspended and then banned from football by the FIFA ethics committee over allegations of financial misconduct in office (which he denies).

Infantino then took over as the candidate officially endorsed by the UEFA executive committee. He is expected to reap a majority of European votes and has claimed support from other regions, notably central and South America.

The four other candidates are Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Frenchman Jerome Champagne and South African Tokyo Sexwale.

The FA board also discussed reform proposals from Dyke who hopes to push through administrative change before stepping down in the summer.

He has openly expressed frustration at the prospect that embattled FIFA will vote to reform its governance structure before the FA.