The Italian-Swiss Gianni Infantino was re-elected until 2027 to the presidency of Fifa, which he has held since 2016, without competition and by acclamation at the 73rd congress of the body in Kigali on Thursday. The 52-year-old leader, already renewed under the same conditions in 2019 by the delegates of the 211 member federations, could remain at the head of world football until 2031, his first three-year term being considered incomplete.
"I love you all", reacted the boss of world football in front of the standing crowd, without the voting system having made it possible to count the dissenting votes. To its credit, the Valaisan can show a solid financial balance sheet, with an 18% increase in income and 45% in reserves over the 2019-2022 cycle compared to the previous one, which allows Fifa to further increase its subsidies. to confederations and federations.
On the governance side, his last mandate was marked by a vast reform of transfers, by the institution of maternity leave for professional players as well as by more protective rules of disciplinary procedure for victims of sexual violence.
The main projects for the next few years have already been approved: starting with the increase in the Men's World Cup from 32 to 48 teams from the 2026 edition shared between the United States, Canada and Mexico, decided in 2017 and whose format was set on Tuesday. By opting for a group stage with 12 groups of 4 teams, the tournament will jump from 64 to 104 matches, a behemoth cut to explode ticketing revenue and attract even more broadcasters.
More delicately, FIFA decided on December 16 to expand its Club World Cup from an annual seven-team format to a quadrennial competition with 32 teams from the summer of 2025. A project that its boss is trying to bring to fruition for years to compete with the lucrative UEFA Champions League but which promises to be difficult to fit into the schedule.