Rediff.com« Back to articlePrint this article

Check out new FIFA boss's first official act

February 28, 2016 20:18 IST

Blatter absent as Infantino opens FIFA museum

Gianni Infantino

IMAGE: Gianni Infantino, left, at the FIFA new museum . Photographer: FIFA/Facebook

Gianni Infantino opened FIFA's new museum in his first official act as president of football's governing body on Sunday.

The 45-year-old Swiss, previously general secretary of European football's governing body UEFA, was elected on Friday, ahead of Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, to become only the ninth president in the FIFA's 112-year history.

He inherited an organisation in crisis after several dozen football officials, some holding high ranks in FIFA at the time, were indicted in the United States while former president Sepp Blatter was banned for six years by FIFA's ethics committee.

FIFA said it invested 110 million Swiss francs (79 million pounds) on renovating the building with 30 million Swiss francs spent on the museum itself, which features more than 1,000 exhibits.

FIFA

IMAGE: FIFA new museum . Photographer: FIFA/Facebook

"This is the place where football will be lived and breathed," said Infantino. "Here you can catch the football virus, if you are not already a carrier. This is only about football."

"It's become a great museum with attention to the worldwide development of football.

Infantino distanced himself from Blatter, whose ban meant he was not able to attend the opening, in comments published by the Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick on Sunday.

"Sepp Blatter characterised one era at FIFA. I hope that I will characterize a different era at FIFA," fellow Swiss Infantino said.

"Infantino is Infantino. Blatter is Blatter."

Infantino also distanced himself from former European football boss Michel Platini who had been favourite to succeed Blatter until he was placed under investigation and, like Blatter, banned for six years.

"I'm my own man. Otherwise you don't win such an election. But I still have a good rapport with Platini. Basically, I get on with everyone."

Infantino, who has four daughters, added: "The future of football belongs to women."

Source: REUTERS
© Copyright 2021 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.