New president Gianni Infantino promises ''to bring FIFA back to football''

Selected quotes from Swiss Gianni Infantino`s first news conference after the former UEFA general secretary was elected president of scandal-hit world soccer`s governing body FIFA on Friday:

Reuters| Last Updated: Feb 27, 2016, 11:38 AM IST
New president Gianni Infantino promises ''to bring FIFA back to football''

Zurich: Selected quotes from Swiss Gianni Infantino`s first news conference after the former UEFA general secretary was elected president of scandal-hit world soccer`s governing body FIFA on Friday:

"I will work tirelessly to bring football back to FIFA and FIFA back to football, this is what we have to do.

"I am feeling a lot of emotion and have not fully realised yet what has happened today. It is still very fresh and it`s been a long and exciting journey and I probably need some time to chill out and see what has happened.

"I would like to see a big development of football all over the world. I want to see the Caribbean League playing, academies in Africa, kids playing in Oceania.

"I want to see football growing all over the world and people looking at FIFA as the organisation that helps each country in the world to develop football.

"I want to look in the eyes of kids who are smiling because they have a ball to play with.

"A new era is starting for FIFA as we speak. I will approach the commercial partners, the sponsors who need to regain their trust in FIFA, and if we can achieve this with our way of working then revenue streams will increase and we will not have to worry at FIFA.

"UEFA did not go bankrupt at all, revenues increased even when the economy was rather dire."

On who his general secretary would be, Infantino said: "We don`t need to talk about that today because it will be the decision of the FIFA Council following the new statutes.

"But I want to have a very strong general secretary. I said if the president is me it will not be a European but we will look around and see what is the best choice for FIFA and football.

"I thank (banned UEFA president) Michel Platini for everything he has taught me and given me and the work we have done together. I have strong, dear thoughts for Mr Michel Platini right now."

Referring to suggestions many African countries voted for rival candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, Infantino said: "It was a competition not a war, it was an election ... you win, you lose.

"I personally have very good relationships with persons in Africa, Oceania, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL.

"The election has taken place, we have turned the page. I am not a candidate of Europe, I am a candidate of football and football is universal.

"I don`t speak about politics, barriers and divisions. We can focus on football and develop football everywhere in the world."