PARIS (AP) — The Latest from the FIFA meetings ahead of the Women’s World Cup (all times local):
FIFA President Gianni Infantino says he has led the soccer body “from being toxic, almost criminal, to being what it should be — an organization that develops football.”
Hours ahead of his unopposed re-election, Infantino told 211 member federations that today “nobody talks about crisis.”
The Swiss lawyer was elected in February 2016 in fallout from American and Swiss federal investigation of corruption involving international soccer officials.
Infantino says FIFA is now “synonymous with credibility, trust, integrity, equality, human rights.”
He won applause when saying FIFA’s reserves rose from $1 billion to $2.75 billion on his watch.
Infantino says “we are not spending it in some dodgy deals,” nor is it possible to make “hidden payments or do something unethical with our money flows.”
He says “there is no more space for corruption at FIFA. Never again.”
One day after French President Emmanuel Macron upset UEFA’s leader, France’s most senior soccer official has tried to smooth relations.
French soccer federation president Noël Le Graët says “UEFA can count on France to be disciplined in the best way possible.”
Le Graët was giving a welcome address to FIFA’s 211 member nations as their host federation for the Women’s World Cup, which opens Friday.
At an official reception on Tuesday, Macron angered UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin by criticizing proposed reforms of the Champions League which would favor rich clubs.
Ceferin later told The Associated Press it was “clear interference of politics in sports.”
Le Graët says he’s “delighted to work alongside” Ceferin, and that while France’s voice should be heard in soccer debate “there shouldn’t be interference from anybody else.”
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