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FIFA president Gianni Infantino to serve four more years; unopposed at elections

Gianni Infantino believes Russia 2018 is the benchmark for Qatar to live up to at the 2022 World Cup.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti about his hopes that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups change negative perceptions of Russia and Qatar.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter says football's world governing body needs to restore its credibility following the acrimonious fall-out from the decision to award the next two World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is set to serve four more years as the leader of world football's governing body as the only candidate for election.

Infantino had the required nomination letters from five of the 211 member federations when the deadline passed at midnight Tuesday in Zurich, FIFA said Wednesday. Infantino must now pass the formality of eligibility and integrity checks for the election on June 5 in Paris.

The 48-year-old Swiss lawyer had been widely expected to win unopposed with support already pledged by most FIFA members, including through their continental governing bodies such as North America's CONCACAF and South America's CONMEBOL.

Since being elected in February 2016, Infantino oversaw expanding the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026, and picking the United States, Canada and Mexico to co-host it.

He is completing the term of Sepp Blatter, who announced his resignation plan days after American and Swiss prosecutors revealed sweeping investigations of corruption in football in May 2015. Blatter was later banned by the FIFA ethics committee for financial irregularities along with Michel Platini, Infantino's former boss at UEFA.

The main event of Infantino's first full mandate is the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

FIFA is still studying if that tournament -- being played for the first time in November and December -- could also be expanded to 48 teams. It would require Qatar agreeing to share hosting duties with regional neighbours because they do not have stadiums and infrastructure to cope with the extra games and teams.

Infantino has acknowledged the 2022 tournament is unlikely to be changed amid the region's current diplomatic tensions. A decision could be taken by the FIFA Council in Miami next month to honour Qatar's original hosting plan.

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