ZURICH: FIFA president Gianni Infantino has landed himself in another appointments controversy after the world football federation appointed a leading lawyer from a senior position in the crisis-hit Greek game writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Theodore Giannikos, head of legal affairs at 43-times record Greek champions Olympiacos, had been appointed to work with member federations after “a review of his background in the football industry.”
Giannikos is a judge at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and a member of UEFA’s club competitions committee which helps oversee the Champions League.
However the Greek game is currently being run by a FIFA-appointed ‘normalisation committee’ after years of crisis, controversy and matchfixing allegations swirling around Olympiacos owner Vangelis Marinakis.
The latter is awaiting a criminal judicial panel’s decision on bringing charges conmnected with a matchfixing investigation. Marinakis denies wrongdoing, and Giannikos is not implicated in the case.
FIFA has been reported as saying it had completed an “extensive and thorough” eligibility process before hiring Giannikos.
Infantino, voted in as president last February, has brought in a stream of new people to senior managerial roles within FIFA. The most controversial have been strategic adviser Kjetil Siem, a former general secretary of the Norwegian FA, and Tamaz Vesel as audit and compliance chairman,
Slovenian Vesel is an old friend of the new UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.