ZURICH: In contrast to the happy relief in Europe which greeted Gianni Infantino’s FIFA triumph, a grumpy, curmudgeonly note was struck by international players union FIFPro.

In a statement it said it took “a dim view” of an election that which left Infantino “entrenched in a governance structure and culture that is open to corrupt practices.”

FIFPro has clashed with Infantino and European federation UEFA over a failure to react positively to concerns over the transfer system and a range of other issues affecting player welfare.

The statement explained its stance thus: “Despite a package of reforms approved today by FIFA, FIFPro fears placing increased power in the hands of FIFA’s 209 member associations lies at the heart of the problem.

“These member organisations of FIFA are not representative of the game yet wield enormous influence over issues that affect key stakeholders such as the players, fans, clubs and leagues. The newly-adopted reforms failed to address the fundamental issue of making football authorities accountable to the game’s most important actors.”

FIFPro secretary-general Theo Van Seggelen said: “The structure in place still does not allow football authorities to be held accountable by some of the game’s most important stakeholders.”

“Genuine reform would ensure players, clubs and leagues have a fair and proportionate share of power in running the game, to create binding decisions on all issues that affect them.”

The union perceived FIFA’s system of governance as being “based on favour swapping and financial inducements, not to mention obstructing external oversight from governments and the game’s key stakeholders.”

These reforms would not address “FIFA’s inherent governance shortcomings” which would have no effect on the human and working condition rights of the vast majority of the “65,000 professional male and female footballers we represent.”

The European Club Association reacted differently.

A statement said: “The ECA congratulates Gianni Infantino on his election as FIFA president. ECA knows Gianni Infantino well through his previous role as UEFA general secretary and takes the opportunity to thank him once again for the constructive and reform-oriented cooperation in recent years.”

However it reiterated its opposition to Infantino’s expressed enthusiasm to increase the number of World Cup slots from 32 to 40.

ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rmmenigge said: “Everyone, the clubs, as well as the national and international associations, bears responsibility for the players.

“We have reached a point where we cannot further burden the players, but need to relieve them. FIFA must fulfil this responsibility for the health of the players.”