MADRID – FIFA president Gianni Infantino was set to be re-elected for a new four-year term, the world soccer governing body announced Wednesday.
Only the 48-year-old Infantino submitted his candidacy to be the head of FIFA by the official submission deadline which expired late Tuesday.
“Following the call for election issued by the FIFA Council on June 10, 2018, FIFA’s member associations have proposed, in due time and form, the following candidate for the presidential election to take place at the 69th FIFA Congress in Paris on June 5, 2019: Mr Gianni Infantino,” FIFA said in a statement released on its official website.
“The Governance Committee will monitor the electoral process, ensuring the correct application of the FIFA statutes and regulations,” the website added.
The Swiss lawyer and soccer administrator announced his candidacy in June, 2018 before the beginning of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and aims to continue the transformation he has overseen of FIFA since taking office.
Infantino was first elected in Feb. 2016 to replace disgraced former president Joseph “Sepp” Blatter.
He is running with major backing from many of the 211 FIFA member federations. In particular, he has the support of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the South American Football, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, the Oceania Football Confederation, as well as 12 federations in Asia.
During Infantino’s tenure as president, FIFA tested the video assistant referee system (VAR) for the first time at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
FIFA then implemented VAR in the 2018 FIFA World Cup; the new technology has subsequently been used in several elite European leagues, including La Liga and Bundesliga.
Additionally, under Infantino’s leadership, the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico has also been expanded from 32 to 48 teams.
In December, Infantino said that FIFA’s total reserves increased from 900 million euros ($1 billion) to 2.3 billion euros.
FIFA was founded in 1904 as the governing body for a number of European leagues and over the past 115 years, it has grown to be the leading governing organization for world soccer, having launched the men’s World Cup in 1930 and the women’s World Cup in 1991.