I have met with a great many of you in person in recent months and I would like to thank you for your hospitality and warm welcome – it has been a privilege to listen to your views, learn from your experiences and share my ideas for the future of world football. For those of you I have not met, I’m looking forward to seeing you before the FIFA Congress to discuss the issues that matter most to you and your Association.
I think we all understand that this Congress is a crossroads moment for FIFA as the world governing body of the world’s number one sport. The decisions taken on Friday will shape football for generations to come and your Association has the opportunity to vote to help create a new path based on renewal, prosperity and trust. This is an important responsibility.
The reform proposals and the election of FIFA’s next President are defining moments for the sport we all love. It is now or never for FIFA to embrace change and to bring football back to the heart of FIFA, strengthening investment in football development, engaging properly with Associations across the globe, understanding their challenges and meeting their needs.
I am a person who keeps his promises, someone with genuine core values, with a fully costed plan for the future and with a proven track record of delivering commercial growth, good governance and credible programmes of investment and development.
Let me be absolutely clear with you: the increases in development and other assistance funds outlined in my manifesto can easily be put in place considering that I am proposing reinvesting back into football development only around $1.2 billion out of over $5.5 billion revenues. Very significant savings can easily be made in FIFA’s costs so that the amount for reinvestment in football I am proposing can be safely delivered. This is what FIFA should be about – Football Development! Not politics, political intrigues or personal attacks.
My campaign Manifesto and 90-day plan set out the core elements of my thinking and also reflect the FIFA reform package that you will vote on this Friday. And my conversations tell me that football is ready to look forward with determination and confidence. Friday is an opportunity we must not miss.
I have travelled the equivalent of 5 times around the globe in the past few months, immersing myself in enchanting cultures and living and breathing the passion for football around the world. My campaign on the road, which started in Cairo and ended in Cape Town, has brought me here to Zurich where we are considering the dawn of a new era for FIFA and for football.
As we enter the last moments of this election, I have a real sense of momentum for the election, for a new beginning and with optimism for the future. This is truly a defining moment for football’s world governing body and we must embark on the next stage of this exciting journey with the best interests of the beautiful game at heart. Standing together we can take FIFA and football forward.
Yours in Football,
For more information
Gianni Infantino’s FIFA Presidential Manifesto can be read in full at his newly launched campaign website: fifaforward2016.com
Gianni can be followed on Twitter at: @Gianni_2016
About Gianni Infantino
Gianni Infantino has been UEFA General Secretary since October 2009 having joined the organisation in 2000. He leads a team of over 400 staff which has helped further strengthen both national team and club football in Europe and UEFA’s role as a respected and credible international governing body.
At the helm of UEFA’s administration and together with the Executive Committee, he has intensified UEFA’s work to provide a democratic and sustainable environment for European football. This has been achieved through initiatives such as Financial Fair Play, improved commercial support and an increased role in the decision-making process for Member Associations of all sizes, and the development of UEFA’s competitions at every level of the game – including the exponential growth of the UEFA Champions League and the expansion of the UEFA European Football Championships.
Gianni led the fight against social ills and threats to the integrity of football in Europe, including all forms of racism and discrimination, violence and hooliganism, and match-fixing.
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