ZURICH: Confusion over the status of Gianni Infantino as president of world football federation FIFA has been excerbated by the departure of another member of the compensation committee supposed to set his pay package writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The stop-start reform process launched in 2011 did produce a three-member sub-committee headed by Swiss businesman Domenico Scala and including Geneva-based independent specialist Jean-Pierre Pedrazzini and the finance committee chairman (whoever that may be at the time).
After Infantino was elected on February 28 he learned from Scala that he would paid approximately $1.5m, around half of the basic rate of disgraced predecessor Sepp Blatter, who also received significant bonuses.
Infantino described this to his FIFA Council as “insulting”, according to a leaked recording of a meeting on the eve of last month’s Mexico City Congress. The status of the remuneration panel was then effectively undermined by Scala’s resignationas audit chairman in a row over reform reversal.
Now Pedrazzini has confirmed to the German media that he has also resigned, although he has not published his reasons. This leaves only one of the original panel members in finance chairman Issa Hayatou, the Cameroonian president of the African confederation and who had been interim president up until Infantino’s election.
Reports in the German media have suggested that Infantino’s expenses account may have brought him under scrutiny by the ethics committee. However this is forbidden, by regulation, from commenting either way on such speculation.
It remains an open question, however, how long Infantino may remain as president while his contract remains unsigned. Certainly his authority is in question which also raises doubts about his own appointments on new department heads and, most notably, that of new secretary-general Fatma Soumara.
The Senegalese former United Nations co-ordinator began work formally at FIFA in Zurich on Monday.
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