ZURICH (CBSNewYork) – Here is a brief look at Gianni Infantino, whom on Friday was elected as the ninth president in FIFA’s history.
1. He has served as the general secretary of the Union of European Football Associations since 2009.
Among his achievements at the UEFA was improving commercial support to national associations and overseeing the expansion of UEFA Euro 2016 from 16 teams to 24.
2. He had an unusual road into the FIFA election.
He jumped into the race after his boss, UEFA President Michel Platini, got caught up in the FIFA corruption scandal and was suspended after he allegedly accepted an improper $2 million payment from outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Enter Infantino, initially thought to be an underdog in the presidential election.
3. He wants to shake up the World Cup.
Infantino has proposed expanding the World Cup from 32 teams to 40. He also envisions the event someday being played across several countries, accepting bids from a region rather than a single country.
4. He’s multilingual.
The lawyer speaks Italian, French, German, English and Spanish. He spoke several languages during his FIFA presidential pitch, as he touted himself as a leader for the world, not just his European confederation.
5. He hails from the same area as his predecessor.
Infantino and Blatter are both from the Valais region in the Swiss Alps. Infantino is from Brig; Blatter from neighboring Visp.