Football faces “existential threat” after Infantino gifted second FIFA term

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By Richard Good
Football faces “existential threat” after Infantino gifted second FIFA term

Gianni Infantino will be handed a second term of office as FIFA President at a meeting in Paris on Wednesday.

When the Swiss-Italian took over football's governing body, it was an organisation deeply divided by corruption allegations. Now, despite facing questions about his own integrity, he is being given a second mandate without any re-election process.

On Good Morning Europe, a specialist on corruption in sport said that while Infantino had improved management standards, the same structural problems remain.

Declan Hill, who is a professor of investigations at the University of New Haven, cited the probable hosting of a new World Club Tournament in Saudi Arabia as an example of the growing division between the organisation and ordinary supporters.

“It’s an extraordinary inside deal featuring allegedly an offer of $25 billion,” he said. “We’re talking about an existential threat to the state of the sport at this moment. The idea is cutting off the balloon - those super clubs that billions of fans around the world are interested in, be it Juventus, Real Madrid or Manchester United - and setting up an almost super-league, or club World Cup, separate from the national league, separate from the local football teams that many of our viewers love and watch.”

The author of ‘The Fix: Organized Crime and Soccer’ also criticised the absence of an election for Infantino’s second term. He argues that a vote should have been held, even though no rival candidate emerged.

“It’s eyebrow raising,” says Hill. “There’s no chance for anyone or any national football association, just to say, mark their ballot, or to abstain or register some symbolic protest. It’s all effectively a kind of Soviet show of hands and ‘Yes, we’re all behind the great leader’."

Watch the interview in the video player above.