Fifa presidential election: Football Association endorses Gianni Infantino in bid to replace Sepp Blatter

The 45-year-old is currently the Uefa general secretary and is second-favourite to win the election

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The Football Association has reportedly agreed to support Gianni Infantino’s bid to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa president after reaching consensus at a board meeting on Wednesday.

The 45-year-old is currently the Uefa general secretary and has sidestepped association with Michel Platini, the European organisation’s president who is currently appealing an eight-year ban by Fifa’s ethics committee. Both the Frenchman and Blatter were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m “disloyal payment” between the pair. 

Infantino is one of five candidates running to lead the world governing body and replaces Platini as the English FA’s choice, BBC Sport report this afternoon.

Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa, the Bahraini president of the Asian Football Confederation, is widely considered the front-runner but Uefa’s executive committee last month confirmed its unanimous support for the Swiss-Italian. 

Speaking following the January announcement, Infantino said: “I am very honoured for the support I received. I am also much more responsible now than I was before these meetings.

“With such a big endorsement you have to take these proceedings very professionally, very openly. I am very confident from what I hear and what I’ve heard from the 54 members.”

Uefa concurrently confirmed they would not elect a new president until Platini has finished his appeal process, which could reach the court of arbitration for sport. 

“We hope his name is cleared and that he can return to the European football family as quickly as possible,” it said in a statement.

Tokyo Sexwale, Jerome Champagne and Prince Ali Al Hussein are also in contention for the Fifa presidency which will be decided at the extraordinary congress in Zurich on February 26. 

Infantino has recently suggested he intends to include plans for a future World Cup to be held in a whole region rather than one or two countries in his Fifa manifesto.