Archive | February 2016

What you don’t know about new FIFA President

By Frederick Mordi

Infantino

On February 26, 2016, 45-year old Swiss-Italian football administrator, Gianni Infantino, emerged new FIFA President, after a keenly contested election held at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich. He beat four other contestants to replace the embattled Sepp Blatter, his 79-year old compatriot.

Infantino, who is a lawyer by profession, was educated at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He is a polyglot. He speaks Italian, French, Swiss, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic, quite fluently. This, no doubt, would be an invaluable asset as he would be dealing with 209 football federations across the world. Before his new position, Infantino was the UEFA General Secretary.

While he was the boss of UEFA, he pushed for reforms to promote the integrity of football in Europe. Apparently taking note of his sterling achievements, FIFA appointed him to join its Reform Committee in August 2015, following the embarrassing revelations about the pecuniary peccadilloes of Blatter and former UEFA helmsman, Michel Platini, who incidentally happen to be his friends. He later threw his hat into the ring, apparently bent on personally spearheading the reform process in FIFA.

The new FIFA President has expressed his desire to increase the number of participating countries for the FIFA World Cup from the current 32 teams to 40 teams. This is a brilliant idea as it will give more countries the opportunity of qualifying for the Mundial.

But he will have to contend with high-level ‘politics’ that has come to characterise the beautiful game of football. For instance, while Russia’s place as the next host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup may been secured, that of Qatar scheduled for 2022, is still in contention, over an alleged bribery scandal. However, his immediate task will be to clean up the rot that has tainted the image of FIFA, the world football governing body. Blatter has described him as a worthy successor.

Infantino, who is said to be a diehard fan of Italian Serie A club Inter Milan, is married with four children.

Advertisements

The plight of Citizen Fidelis

Frederick Mordi

By Frederick Mordi

20880077-Silhouettes-of-Businessmen-with-white-background-Stock-Vector-silhouette-man-winner[1]

When Fidelis got a Federal Government of Nigeria scholarship to pursue his master’s degree in one of the top universities in the United Kingdom a few years ago, he thought it was a dream come true. Although he had acquired an MBA while working, he believed a foreign master’s degree would make him more marketable.

But when Fidelis requested for study leave from his employers then, HR said he was not eligible as he had spent less than three years with the company. To qualify for study leave, Fidelis was told, he should have put in at least five years. He was faced with the dilemma of either resigning from the organisation or forfeiting the scholarship. It was a tradeoff, he knew. In the end, he chose the former option, confident he would secure a better deal when he concludes his study abroad. And so Fidelis tendered…

View original post 672 more words