Infantino hits out at 'fake news' and 'FIFA bashing'

Solenn Plantier
Mai 12, 2017

Infantino - elected as president past year on the back of FIFA's greatest scandal but who has been criticised for his committment to real reform - also claimed corruption could "never again" happen. Palestinian Football Association President Jabril Rajoub told FIFA's Congress that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Infantino to ask him to delay the vote.

"We are a team".

"Sadly, the truth is not what is necessarily true but what people believe is true", Infantino said.

The Fifa congress also voted overwhelmingly to fast-track the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup, which will be the first tournament expanded to feature 48 teams.

THE BEST FIFA FOOTBALL AWARDS: Football's top individual accolades take new shape and embrace the participation of fans. "New FIFA, it is a transparent organization, not an organization that is fiddling around with facts and figures". Facts and actions speak louder than words.

"We have to admit that", Infantino said.

"But what matters in the end is the decision taken and implemented, the rest is all speculation". Follow all the events in Bahrain as they happen.

Addressing the assembled football associations from 209 countries worldwide - Guatemala and Kuwait are suspended - Infantino mixed an anti-corruption message with an attack on the media familiar from the denials of the Sepp Blatter years. "Leave football now. We don't want you".

The governing body made a commitment to reform in 2011 after corruption allegations, only for a deeper scandal to emerge in 2015 that saw arrests and a raid at a hotel in Zurich as well as a large-scale investigation by U.S. authorities.

In a passage, again not naming names but taken as an implied criticism of the Swiss law professor Mark Pieth and the former chair of the audit and compliance committee, Domenico Scala, who initiated numerous reforms, Infantino said: "Where were all these self-proclaimed good governance and compliance gurus who were supposed to control Federation Internationale de Football Association when all this was happening?"

When asked if the decision to replace Borbely and Eckert was motivated by the ethics committee's investigation into his expenses and use of private planes a year ago - and claims of a second investigation into possible interference in African football politics - Infantino scoffed and said he had "no issue" with them, before adding: "I'm probably the most scrutinised person in the world". It's not me saying it.

"Let me say this loudly and unequivocally, a big thanks goes from my side, from FIFA's side, to all the authorities prosecuting those involved in corruption in football".

"We need your help and we count on your help", he added, saying there was no place in his organisation for any wrongdoing.

"Well, they all miserably failed".

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