KEIR RADNEDGE in BUDAPEST: FIFA president Gianni Infantino has urged Europe’s richest football federations to give away their annual FIFA cash hand-out to poor FAs around the world.
Infantino was addressing the annual congress here in Budapest of European federation UEFA of which he was general secretary before being elected as new head of world football in February.
FIFA gives $5m every four years to all of its national associations and $40m to the six confederations but the value of the money varies widely according to the wealth or poverty of the 209 national associations.
Infantino said: “I want to make a plea to you. The funds have been increased to this famous $5m over four years but, for you in Europe who don’t need all this money from FIFA, I would invite you to give it to other associations around the world.”
“Invest it,” added Infantino. “We can do this together and really create a difference for a FIFA of solidarity, of inclusion, and you in Europe can show how we can make a difference in the world.”
Earlier Infantino has emphasised his determination to draw a firm line under the corruption-scarred regime of his FIFA presidential Sepp Blatter.
He said: “This is a new era for FIFA, this is a new FIFA, a FIFA which stands for reforms and we are implementing the reforms; a FIFA which stands for good governance, transparency, integrity, honesty and for professionality.
“This is a huge responsibility for me as FIFA president, but a responsibility in which I can succeed only by sharing with you – if we all work together and bring football back to the centre of the stage.
“FIFA has to organise competitions but also, as a main priority, to develop football and we have been able to find the necessary funds to put in place the football development programme that I described in my manifesto.
“I’ve been travelling the world and been to five different continents and there are a lot of things we can do together for football.”
Including sharing the wealth among the non-so-wealthy.
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