FIFA votes on new president – Lithuania backs Infantino

Gianni Infantino
AP/Scanpix

The Lithuanian football federation has pledged its support to the Swiss general secretary of European governing body UEFA, Gianni Infantino, in the FIFA elections.

Sheikh Salman of Bahrain is the heavy favourite among the five candidates running for FIFA president after securing the backing of many African and Asian countries, but Infantino is expected to be his main rival for the post. Salman has recently been accused of ignoring human rights abuses in his home country of Bahrain during the Arab Spring.

“During his work as UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino has proved that he is an expert in football management, while also being a an open person, able to unite football people from different countries and different interests. We believe that his knowledge and human qualities are suitable to implement reforms in FIFA and bring football community in the world forward. Therefore we have absolutely no doubts that Mr. Infantino the right candidate for the job of FIFA president,” said LFF president Edvinas Eimontas.

FIFA has been reeling since May when US authorities filed corruption charges against a range of senior figures in the organisation. Lithuania’s footballing authorities were also hit by allegations of corruption earlier this year that has lead to an investigation by the country’s fraud investigation force.

The first vote takes place in Zurich today. A candidate needs a two-thirds majority of votes to win in the first round, with a simple majority needed to win the FIFA presidency in subsequent rounds.

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