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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Gianni Infantino to bid for new term as FIFA president    

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Wednesday he will bid for a new term as the head of world football’s governing body next year.

The 48-year-old Swiss-Italian has held the position since 2016 when he took over from Sepp Blatter following a corruption scandal.

“I want another four years of it because I believe in what I do,” Infantino said after the annual FIFA conference in Moscow. “I believe in what I can do for FIFA and for football.”

FIFA elections will take place in Paris in June 2019.

Infantino has made financial stability a key priority during his tenure while also embracing new technology such as the Video Assistant Referee system.

“I feel as well a lot of support from many around the world who want to see a strong FIFA, who want to see a FIFA who is present, a FIFA who is helping to address their issues about football development,” he added.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the impact made by Infantino since he took charge of the Zurich-based body.

“We know that Infantino became the head of FIFA in difficult times but he has steered it well, like a true fighter,” Putin said in a short speech during the conference.

Wednesday’s event saw FIFA delegates vote to grant the 2026 World Cup hosting rights to a joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Morocco failed in its bid for a fifth time.

Russia is the host of this year’s tournament, which will begin on Thursday.

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