The Gianni Infantino scandals make it clear that the FIFA president is only concerned about money.
Photo: ©UNIS Vienna/Nikoleta Haffar
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Londoño
Gianni Infantino is, like any powerful man, a controversial figure. The current FIFA president has been at the head of this organization since 2016, when he became the first Italian to reach this position. Recently, the fact that he is living in Qatar has been criticized, despite the fact that FIFA had categorically denied that this was the case. Let's see what are some of the Gianni Infantino scandals that have put him in the eye of the hurricane.
The first scandal that affected Infantino happened the same year that he came to power as FIFA president. Today's soccer strongman was implicated in the Panama Papers, the more than 11 million documents that exposed the network of more than 214,000 tax havens involving people and entities from 200 different nations.
The documents revealed that UEFA entered into deals with offshore companies with some of those accused in the FIFA Gate. The contracts, which run from 2003 to 2006, are signed by Infantino.
Of course, UEFA and Infantino himself denied their involvement in the Panama Papers. "I am concerned and will not accept that certain areas of the media question my integrity, especially given that UEFA has already revealed in detail all the facts related to these contracts." the Italian said about it at the time.
Total support for the World Cup every 2 years
One of the most controversial positions that Infantino maintains is the need to hold the World Cup every 2 years. He has assured multiple times that this is necessary to "keep the attention of the younger fans.”
However, his critics argue that Infantino is only looking to generate more revenue for FIFA. According to them, this change could make the World Cup less relevant in the eyes of the public. On the other hand, the health of the players would also be affected, since they would not have time to recover between the various competitions.
It must be remembered that 95% of FIFA's income comes from the sale of television rights, marketing, hotel and licensing rights related to the FIFA World Cup. Not surprisingly, its president wants to do it more often.
Infantino, very comfortable with Sports Washing
Sports washing is a technique used by countries accused of human rights violations. It is about organizing high-profile sporting events in those countries to clean up their image. For example, when Colombia insisted on hosting the Copa América in 2021, despite facing some of the largest social protests in its recent history.
Well, in the case of Infantino, he does not seem to be concerned about the multiple human rights violations that have occurred in Qatar. He has not even made a call for attention about it. This Middle Eastern country is accused of restrictions on freedom of expression, forced labor, criminalization of same-sex relationships, and lack of accountability for violence against women and minorities. But, for the FIFA president, the World Cup will be "a celebration of soccer and social inclusion"..