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It’s Infantino: TTFA pick for FIFA presidency

Published: 
Friday, January 29, 2016
TTFA president David John-Williams and FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino at the TTFA office yesterday.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) will be throwing its weight behind UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino for the FIFA presidency on February 24. Infantino, who has been general secretary of UEFA since 2009, is a Swiss football administrator of Italian origin. He met with TTFA president David John-Williams yesterday in Port of Spain.

John-Williams expressed support for Infantino, stating that he was impressed with several areas of his campaign and his commitment towards the development of the game in the region.

“We know the FIFA Presidential campaign is right around the corner. We heard presentations from the various candidates in Antigua. We had some important discussions with Mr Infantino today and we feel that his presentation, from among all the candidates, is the one that can help Caribbean football,” John-Williams said after meeting Infantino yesterday.

“Many people know that I come from a very strong football background. What is important to us here is the development of the game and his presentation seems most appropriate,” John-Williams added.

Infantino stated that he would be focusing heavily on promoting the development of the game in the Caribbean region, saying that the support for him from T&T was extremely important.

“It is a great pleasure and honour to be here and I am very grateful to the president of the T&T Football Association for the discussion that we had,” Infantino said.

“It was very inspiring. He is a football man, I am a football man and we can talk football development. That is why I think the chemistry immediately worked. For me to receive this support here is very important in my going forward to the FIFA candidacy,” the multi-lingual lawyer said.

“I can bring a lot to this region, to this part of the world. I have seen many presidents who are committed to the game and organizing football, sometimes in difficult circumstances and we have to help. We have to ensure that our heart, which is beating for football, can continue to beat for everyone in the region. That is why I am also very happy to be here to continue working in a great partnership together for the future of football,” Infantino stated. 

John-Williams continued: “One of the strengths that I see in Gianni’s candidacy is that if he becomes FIFA president, he does not only have the support of FIFA but he will also have the support of UEFA. I think that is something that is weighing heavily in his favour. From where we sit I think UEFA will bring a lot of technical support for the region.

“I was remarking today is what I was impressed is that the smaller nations in Europe are now participating in the European champions League and the Europa League and I think it is instructive to note that this is happening under his watch as general secretary,” the TTFA boss added.

 John Williams went on to say that he was impressed by the plans of Infantino to increase the FIFA Assistance Program (FAP) funding, the commitment to develop facilities in countries that need it and additional commitment to technical support.

Since his appointment as UEFA general secretary, Infantino has been part of a leadership team which has helped to further strengthen both national team and club football in Europe, and UEFA’s role as a respected and credible international governing body.

This week, the Central American Football Union (Uncaf), which has seven votes in the Fifa presidential election on 26 February, also announced its support for Infantino.

Infantino is one of the frontrunners in the race to replace Sepp Blatter. The presidents of the seven national federations in the Uncaf region, which is part of the Concacaf confederation, expressed their support for Infantino in a letter on Monday.

The statement was signed by the presidents of the Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Belize and Nicaragua federations, along with the Uncaf president, Rafael Tinocco