FIFA President Gianni Infantino re-elected by acclamation at FIFA Congress

FIFA Congress upholds Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe suspension

Gianni Infantino will serve a second term as FIFA President after being re-elected unopposed to lead global football’s governing body for another four years, during the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda. 

According to a FIFA Press Release, while speaking immediately after the re-election to serve from 2023 to 2027, President Infantino said: “Being FIFA President is an incredible honour, an incredible privilege, and it is also a great responsibility. I am truly humbled and touched by your support, and I promise you that I will continue serving FIFA, serving football all over the world and serving all 211 FIFA member associations.” 

For the first time in its history, an elective FIFA Congress took place in Africa. The proceedings were opened by His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. In his address, President Kagame welcomed delegates from the 208 gathered member associations to his country, and congratulated President Infantino on his impending re-election. 

The FIFA President stressed FIFA’s role to organise competitions and to develop football. The President revealed that the 32-team FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand later this year will receive an extensive increase in prize money to over USD 150 million – more than three times the value from the last tournament in 2019, and ten times more than in 2015. 

President Infantino also referenced impending changes to the FIFA Under-17 World Cups at boys’ and girls’ level, which will see those tournaments played on an annual basis, as well as the launch of the FIFA World Series and the revised 32-team FIFA Club World Cup, with the intention of giving teams from every confederation more opportunities to compete on the global stage. 

Continued good governance was also a key pledge – including additional changes to the transfer system and a continued commitment to financial sustainability across the football pyramid. For the next financial cycle, the commitment of USD 11 billion in revenue over the next four years was stated, which represents a substantial increase on the initial target of USD 6.4 billion from the previous cycle, and an increase on USD 7.5 billion in revenue which was eventually reported. 

FIFA’s commitment to future generations was also mentioned – either on the pitch through the FIFA Talent Development Scheme or off it via football-related gaming – while the President assured that FIFA would maintain its position as a leading global force in ensuring the power of football is used to effect positive social change. 

The Congress also included a video address by Michael Llamas, President of the Gibraltar Football Association. In his role as chairperson of the FIFA Sub-Committee on Human Rights and Social Responsibility, Mr. Llamas explained this it is committed to assessing the human rights legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which would also support planning for future FIFA tournaments. 

The consolidated financial statements for 2022, the FIFA statutory financial statements for 2022, the 2023-2026 budget, the 2024 detailed budget and the appointment of the auditors for 2023-2025 were also approved. The date of the next Congress was 17 May 2024, the venue of which is yet to be confirmed. 

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were suspended from voting during FIFA elections. Out of the 211 associations, 199 member associations voted in favour of a motion to suspend Zimbabwe while 197 voted for the motion restricting Sri Lanka from voting during FIFA elections.

In January, FIFA suspended the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) over political interference after the federation’s presidential elections fell short of Zurich’s standards. In 2022, FIFA suspended Zimbabwe's membership over government interference in the countries' football associations. Zimbabwe's football association denied the allegations. At the time, reports indicate, Zimbabwe authorities said they were acting against corruption, incompetence and sexual abuse. 


Haroon Malik, the Chairman of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee for the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), congratulated Gianni Infantino on his re-election as FIFA President for the second full term from 2023 to 2027.   

Haroon Ahmed Malik led a PFF delegation that participated in the 73rd FIFA Congress held in Rwanda, along with Muhammad Shahid Niaz Khokhar and Saud Hashimi. The Congress was attended by football legends, President of the Republic of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame, and other notables.   

Haroon Malik stated that Infantino's re-election will ensure the continuity of FIFA's successful policies, and he hopes that the promotion of football at the global level will be faster than before. Malik also updated FIFA and AFC officials on the progress being made in conducting free, fair, and transparent elections for the PFF.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

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