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Infantino: Caribbean central to my presidency

Sunday, January 31, 2016
Gianni Infantino

FIFA presidential hopeful Gianni Infantino says he will make the Caribbean priority if he is elected to the organisation’s highest post.

Currently UEFA’s general secretary, Infantino is among six candidates set to contest the February 24 election in Switzerland, in a bid to replace the disgraced incumbent Sepp Blatter.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale are also campaigning for the post.

“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,” Infantino said during a visit here Thursday to meet with T&T FA chief David John-Williams.

“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.”

The 46-year-old Infantino is a Swiss and Italian national who has served as UEFA general secretary for the last seven years.

During his meeting with John-Williams, he was given the assurance of the TTFA’s vote at the election where the Caribbean has a significant presence, with 31 votes making up the Caribbean Football Union.

“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.”

John-Williams, who only assumed the TTFA presidency last November, said he believed an Infantino presidency would result in increased football development in the region.

“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,” John-Williams pointed out.

“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.”

The TTFA is also one of 41 members of the continental governing body for football in North, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF).