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Blatter gone, AIFF looks up to new FIFA chief Infantino


Zurich : All India Football Federation (AIFF) chief Praful Patel is hopeful of establishing fruitful relations with new FIFA president Gianni Infantino and work towards the development of the game in the country.

Swiss-Italian Infantino yesterday won the presidency of FIFA with a convincing victory over Asian rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and vowed to lead the scandal-tainted body into a new era.

India was represented by Patel in the extraordinary congress. Patel congratulated the new FIFA president after his election.

“#AIFF looking forward to working with #FIFA President #GianniInfantino to make #Football a great success in #India,” Patel wrote on his twitter handle congratulating Sepp Blatter’s successor.

Patel also posed for a picture with Infantino and FIFA executive committee member Prince Abdullah.

Infantino secured 115 votes in the second round of polls, beating off favourite Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa into second while Prince Ali bin Hussein finished third.

AIFF had come out in the open to support the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president, Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa.

Infantino succeeds Blatter, who was suspended from all football activities for eight years — later reduced to six — along with ex-Uefa president Michel Platini for corruption.

In what could be of interest to countries like India, the 45-year-old lawyer Infantino said, “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.”

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