Gianni Infantino said that he was the man who should win next months Fifa presidential election and lead footballs world governing body. Infantino was speaking as he arrived on the red carpet at the 2015 Fifa Ballon dOr in Zurich, Switzerland on 11 January. The ceremony, at the Kongresshaus theatre, was held against the backdrop of Fifa going through the worst corruption crisis since it was founded in 1904.
The sport is facing criminal investigations in both Switzerland and the United States, where some leading Fifa officials are among 41 individuals and sports entities indicted on corruption charges. Outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter, normally a central figure at previous ceremonies, was conspicuously absent after being banned for eight years by the Ethics Committee in December. There was no Presidents Award, traditionally awarded for outstanding services to the game.
Blatter was replaced by acting president Issa Hayatou who played a low-key role, reading a brief speech before the start of the ceremony and appeared on the stage when the awards for best player and womens player were presented.
When asked what he would do to reform Fifa, Infantino said: I think Fifa needs to come back to football and I think I am somebody who can bring Fifa back to football, together with all these players, together with the clubs, together with the associations. And in addition to this I have, I think, some quite good experience in managing Uefa which is a very professional organisation.
The organisation has to be about transparency, it has to be about football, and our job is to make sure we are open, we are transparent and we can organise football and do football.