FIFA President Gianni Infantino has met French President Emmanuel Macron on the eve of his re-election to serve a fresh four-year term at the helm of world football’s governing body at its Congress in Paris today.
Infantino and FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura visited the Élysée Palace today to meet with Macron, a keen football fan who reportedly joined the French team in their dressing room after their World Cup final victory over Croatia last year.
The visit came on a packed day for Infantino, who is meeting several of the 211 members who will re-elect him by acclamation at the annual Congress after the Council agreed to support a proposal from senior vice-president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al‑Khalifa.
Shaikh Salman, head of the Asian Football Confederation, suggested FIFA change it statutes so a President can be elected by acclamation if there is only one candidate.
“We are delighted that later this week you will be confirmed for another term as FIFA President,” Shaikh Salman, who stood against Infantino in the 2016 election, said at an Extraordinary AFC Congress in Paris today.
“Asia and the AFC look forward to continuing our work with you.
“As we all know the focus of world football turns to Asia in the next few years, and Mr President you can be assured that the game is in safe hands.”
Infantino being given a first full four-year stint in charge is the main item on the agenda for tomorrow’s Congress at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.
The membership will also hear a report on FIFA’s events, including the revamped Club World Cup to be staged from 2021.
The event will become a 24-team competition, to be held every four years in the slot vacated by the Confederations Cup.
The suspension or expulsion of a member is on the agenda, while the detailed budget for 2020 will also be approved.
A controversial proposal spearheaded by Infantino to expand the Qatar 2022 World Cup from 32 to 48 teams is not on the agenda after it was dropped by FIFA last month.