KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: FIFA president Gianni Infantino has raided his old European network again in appointing  Simon Thomas to head up the world football federation’s commercial division .

Thomas, formally chief commercial officer, was previously ceo of TEAM, the long-time marketing partner of UEFA with particular responsbility for ramping up visibility and revenues from the European governing body club competitions.

Previously he worked for Nike, the Sydney Olympics and was global head of sport for the international Fox Sports Channel.

He replaces Philippe Le Floc’h who, after three years at FIFA, has decided to return to Malaysia for what were described as “personal reasons.”

FIFA secretary-general Fatma Samoura took time out from her secondment to the African Football Confederation to welcome Thomas to FIFA.

She said: “We believe that we are building the right team to take FIFA to the next level and to extract the full potential from a diverse and dynamic media and sponsorship marketplace, the results of which will be invested straight back into the development of football across the entire world.”

Specific focus for Thomas, with his expertise in the club world, is likely to be developing the value of FIFA’s expanded Club World Cup.