Blatter warns New Fifa boss
Blatter, currently serving a six-year suspension from football, saw his 18-year reign as Fifa chief officially end Friday when 45-year-old Uefa secretary-general Infantino was voted in as football’s most powerful man.
But in an open letter to the Swiss-Italian lawyer, Blatter warned his successor to be wary of the pitfalls that come with the job. He also said he was ready to offer his help if required.
“I congratulate you, but remember however that this position you wanted will not be easy. Miracles will be expected,” Blatter wrote in an open letter published in French newspaper, Journal du dimanche.
Blatter said that the package of reforms which will be implemented at the scandal-hit body will help Infantino as he embarks on his new era.
Gianni Infantino opened Fifa’s new museum in his first official act as president of soccer’s governing body on Sunday.
The 45-year-old Swiss, previously general secretary of European soccer’s governing body Uefa, was elected on February 26th Friday, ahead of Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, to become only the ninth president in the Fifa’s 112-year history.
He inherited an organisation in crisis after several dozen soccer officials, some holding high ranks in Fifa at the time, were indicted in the United States .
Fifa said it invested 110 million Swiss francs ($110.41 million) on renovating the building with 30 million Swiss francs spent on the museum itself, which features more than 1 000 exhibits.
“This is the place where football will be lived and breathed,” said Infantino. “Here you can catch the football virus, if you are not already a carrier. This is only about football.”
“It’s become a great museum with attention to the worldwide development of football.
Infantino distanced himself from Blatter, whose ban meant he was not able to attend the opening, in comments published by the Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick on Sunday.
“Sepp Blatter characterised one era at Fifa. I hope that I will characterise a different era at Fifa,” fellow Swiss Infantino said.
“Infantino is Infantino. Blatter is Blatter.”
Infantino also distanced himself from former European soccer boss Michel Platini who had been favourite to succeed Blatter until he was placed under investigation and, like Blatter, banned for six years.
“I’m my own man. Otherwise you don’t win such an election. But I still have a good rapport with Platini. Basically, I get on with everyone.”
Infantino, who has four daughters, added: “The future of football belongs to women.”