Infantino says FIFA salary less than $2m

GENEVA-FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in an interview published Sunday that he will make less than two million Swiss francs a year, well below the salary of his disgraced predecessor, Sepp Blatter.

Infantino has not yet agreed to terms with FIFA but speaking to Switzerland's Blick newspaper, he said his salary "will be less than the two million francs ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) people have speculated about." Blatter, who was mired in scandal before being banned from FIFA, made $3.6 million in 2015.

Infantino described past dealings with FIFA's compensation committee as "insulting" and "completely arbitrary."

During the first two months of Infantino's tenure, which began in February, the compensation committee included former FIFA audit and compliance chief Domenico Scala, who has emerged as a fierce critic of world football's new president. Scala dramatically quit FIFA in May, accusing Infantino of trying to compromise the organisation's independent committees and acting with an authoritarian streak. Infantino said his pay could be finalised when the compensation committee meets again, with Scala no longer in the picture. Reflecting on earlier negotiations when Scala was involved, the FIFA chief said: "I expected to talk to these people about my salary based on guidelines and defined processes and not to face a fait accompli by Mr. Scala without a discussion."

A FIFA inquiry last month cleared Infantino after investigating him over his use of private jets, personal expenses, hiring methods and the salary dispute. In the interview on Sunday Infantino restated his claims that those opposed to cleaning up FIFA's corrupt ways have sought to undermine his reforms bids.

Infantino took over world football's governing body following months of unprecedented crisis, with major corporate backers like Visa and Coca Cola demanding a thorough crackdown on graft.

Elsewhere in the interview, Infantino said he wanted to work with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address the "sensitive issue" of football at the Summer Games. Men's football at the Olympics is largely for players under 23, with three overaged players allowed in each squad, while the women's tournament is a competition of the best in the sport.

The men's format "is not a good solution," Infantino told Blick. He added that the football calendar is already "too tight." Women's football has thrived at the Olympics, giving enormous exposure to a sport that FIFA has committed to developing worldwide.

Infantino said "serious" discussions on the future of football at the Games were needed. Brazil won the 2016 men's tournament at the just-concluded Rio Games, with Germany taking the women's gold medal.

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