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Fam welcomes Infantino’s re-election

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Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu, who took part in Fifa polls that led to the re-election of Gianni Infantino, has welcomed the development, expressing hope that the body will continue on its trajectory of erecting sports infrastructure and implementing projects beneficial to members.

Infantino was re-elected in Rwanda Thursday, marking the first time a Fifa elective conference has been held on African soil.

The president will serve the organisation until 2027.

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“It was a glamorous occasion, where Africa hosted the first Fifa elective congress of its kind in Rwanda. It was a historic moment, with Infantino being voted into office for the second term unopposed. Members have unanimously given Infantino a vote of confidence based on his outstanding achievement and prospects of a brighter future.

“It’s great to see Fifa bounce back strongly with a healthy financial position that will continue to sustain and grow the beautiful game of football. We stand to benefit from his excellent leadership and tremendous passion for Africa. Malawi is one of the few countries benefitting from construction of a community stadium in Nsanje, apart from the developmental project taking place at Luwinga in Mzuzu,” Nyamilandu said.

Infantino’s re-election comes at a time the world football’s governing body has announced an expanded 2026 World Cup and unveiled a new 32- team Club World Cup.

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But the expansion of the football calendar has been criticised by player unions and La Liga.

“When I hear there is too much football, yes, maybe in some places, but not everywhere. In fact, in most parts of the world, there is not enough football played. We need way more and not less competitions; we want football to develop worldwide.

“We are discussing organising a women’s Club World Cup and a Fifa World Series in March every two years, when teams are free from playing qualifiers,” Infantino said.

The 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada, will see the number of teams increase from 32 to 48.

The tournament will have 104 matches rather than a projected 80, after Fifa changed a proposed format of 16 three-team groups to 12 groups of four.

There will also be a new last-32 round and countries will have to play eight matches to win the tournament, compared to seven at the 2022 World Cup.

The 32-team Club World Cup will take place every four years from June 2025.

Players union Fifpro and the Professional Footballers’ Association have raised concerns about the demands on players, while La Liga said Fifa’s plans showed a “complete disregard” for the football community.

Infantino, who was re-elected at the 73rd Fifa Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, also discussed the possibility of bringing a salary cap into football.

“We must improve our regulations and the Fifa statutes. We will continue to evolve our good governance principles and look at the transfer system and, maybe, have a discussion to improve transparency of transfer fees and salaries.

“It might be necessary to introduce a cap; we have to think [about] how we can do that. We will look at it with all stakeholders and see what we can do,” he said.

Speaking about the women’s game in his closing remarks, Infantino also said the total prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup will be $150 million (£124.3m) compared to $15m (£12.4m) in 2015.

Last year’s men’s World Cup in Qatar had a total prize fund of $440m (£364.7m).

“Our mission will be able to have equality in payments for 2026 men’s and 2027 women’s World Cups,” Infantino said.

The 52-year-old succeeded Sepp Blatter as Fifa president in 2016, retaining the role in 2019 and has been re-elected unopposed for another four-year term.

During Infantino’s time in charge, Fifa has looked into staging the World Cup every two years in a concept that has faced criticism from federations, leagues and players.

There was also controversy at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar when the build up to the tournament was dominated by the country’s treatment of migrant workers, along with its stance on same-sex relationships and its human rights record.— The Daily Times/ BBC

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