FIFA president Infantino to stand unopposed for 3rd term

Leon Neal / Getty Images News / Getty

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is getting four more years in charge of soccer’s governing body after no candidate stepped up to challenge him.

FIFA said Thursday the 52-year-old Swiss lawyer was the only person to enter the race by the time the deadline passed overnight — exactly four months before election day on March 16 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Infantino won a five-candidate race in 2016 to replace Sepp Blatter, and was re-elected unopposed in 2019. He’s now set to stay in the job beyond the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Infantino’s upcoming re-election to the $3 million-per-year job may not be his final term in office. FIFA rules allow him to run again to stay in power for another World Cup cycle until 2031.

A quirk of FIFA’s statutes means the first three years of Infantino’s presidency — when he completed an unfinished term started by Blatter — does not count against the 12-year limit agreed to in reforms passed during a prolonged corruption crisis before his first election.

Outside of soccer, one political threat to Infantino’s leadership is an investigation by two special prosecutors in Switzerland into his three undocumented meetings with then-attorney general Michael Lauber in 2016 and 2017 during American and Swiss federal investigations of soccer officials.

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FIFA president Infantino to stand unopposed for 3rd term
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