FIFA President Gianni Infantino condemned “fake news” surrounding the world football-governing body in a passionate speech at the annual congress in Bahrain on Thursday.
Infantino assumed office in the midst of FIFA’s greatest corruption saga and has been hit for his commitment to genuine reform but he claimed corruption would “never again” happen.
“Sadly the truth is not necessarily the truth, but it is what people believe is true,” he tried convincing delegates present.
“Fake news, alternative facts, these terms did not until some time ago, they have become en vogue.”
“There’s a lot of fake news and alternative facts about FIFA circulating, FIFA-bashing has become a national sport, especially in some countries.” Infantion said.
But, interchanging between English, French, German and Spanish, he informed that his organization is different.
“FIFA has changed now, this is a new FIFA and we are new people here and we act with facts, not with words.
“Nunca mas — never again,” Infantino also said that corruption is once more rearing its ugly head.
He nevertheless warned selfish individuals who intend to enrich themselves through illegal means to exit FIFA.
“If there is anyone in this room or outside of this room who still thinks he can enrich himself, he can abuse football, I have one clear and strong message to tell him: leave, leave football and leave football now,” Infantino warned.
His comments were reactions to criticism earlier in the week concerning the FIFA Council’s recommendation that the ethics judge, Hans Joachim Eckert and chief investigator, Cornel Borbely, who took charge of Sepp Blatter’s case, are not to be re-elected by Congress.
Infantino’s also directed his criticism towards “highly-paid experts” who did not offer much to help reform.
“In the past, many highly-paid experts paid millions have been hired by FIFA to help reform FIFA, but what did they do? They simply rubber-stamped a wrong system.”
He also stated FIFA’s new status as a democracy and not a dictatorship.
Infantino pushed forward his willingness to boost women’s football by raising the prospect of a “world women’s league”, which he would pay attention to later.
He was also interested in examining the issue of transfer regulations.
Reports also suggested FIFA is concerned with the world-record £89.3 million ($111 million, 105.2 million euros) transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United in August last year.