Photo above is of Gianni Infantino during UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying play-offs draw, that took place in Sheraton Hotel in Cracow. Photo credit: Piotr Drabik – Flickr: CC BY 2.0.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Mar 3, (CMC) – Caribbean Football Union President, Gordon Derrick, says, the regional body stands ready to partner with new FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, to bolster football development across the Caribbean.
Infantino, General Secretary of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), was chosen to head football’s world governing body at elections in Switzerland, last Friday.
“The electorate has spoken and he won, overwhelmingly, in the second round. We congratulate him and look forward to all the wonderful things that he has professed that he will bring to our region,” Derrick told CMC Sports.
“His manifesto would have spoken to a lot of the issues in our region, and he gave us his assurance he would attend to them. We look forward to him getting settled in, so he can start some of these promises coming forth.”
The Italian had courted the Caribbean vote during his campaign and also attended the CFU General Meeting in Antigua, prior to elections, to present his candidacy.
Prior to the election, the Barbados Football Association and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association were two CFU bodies to openly declare their support.
Derrick said, Infantino had promised to help address the high cost of travel for teams in the region, deliver increased financial support to fund more development programs and help in establishing a Caribbean professional league.
The Caribbean football chief said, the CFU was pleased with how the FIFA elections had been conducted and noted, it was important now to start rebuilding the brand.
“The people have spoken. There are 209 associations and 207 voted. It was well conducted. It went two rounds and there was a good fight in the first round,” he said.
“In the second round, he was able to gather a lot of support and that is the test of true democracy and we must be happy with the system. We must be happy with the result and, as a unified FIFA, we should move forward now and rebuild our brand, and bring us back to the prominence that there should be, in light of the last couple of months of scandal.”
Infantino clinched 115 votes to beat out challenges from Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein and Jerome Champagne.