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What to know about FIFA President Giovanni Vincenzo

Giovanni Vincenzo ‘Gianni’ is the 10th and current president of FIFA; he was first elected to office in February, 2016 during the FIFA Extra ordinary Congress, was re-elected in June 2019 and March, 2023.

Born on 23, March, 1970 to Italian immigrant parents from Calabria and Lombardy in Switzerland, Giovanni studied Law at ‘University of Fribourg’. He is not only fluent in Italian but also; Spanish, French, German, English, Portuguese and Arabic.

Giovanni worked as the secretary General of the ‘International Center for Sports Studies'(CIES) at the University of Neuchatel, UEFA in 2004 where he was appointed the Director of Legal affairs and club licensing division i January, 2004 before he became Deputy General secretary and General secretary in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

It was during his time that UEFA introduced ‘Financial Fair Play’ and improved commercial support to smaller national associations.

In 2015 when the Greek government introduced a new sports law in response to the recent scandal and acts of violence and corruption mainly in Greek football, Gianni as UEFA’s General secretary led the negotiations with the Greek government and supported the ‘Hellenic Football Federation’s warning to Greece that it faced suspension from international football for government interference.

On 26th October, 2015, Giovanni received the backing of the UEFA Executive Committee to stand for the position of president in the 2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress; On the same day, he confirmed his candidacy and submitted the required declarations of support and in February 2016, he was elected the FIFA president.

The expansion of UEFA Euro 2016 to 24 teams and the conception of the UEFA Nations League and UEFA Euro 2020 which took place in then 13 European Nations was spear headed by Giovanni.

Giovanni is remembered for criticizing the United States ban on several Muslim-majority nations in 2017; “When it comes to FIFA competitions, any team including the supporters and officials of that team who qualify for World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there’s no World Cup“.

In January 2020, he was also elected a member of the international Olympic committee

Holding dual Swiss and Italian citizenship through his parents, Giovanni is the first Italian to hold the position of ‘FIFA President’.

He is a fan of ‘Inter-Milan’ foot ball club, has a net worth of 20 million US dollars, and is married to Lebanese ‘Leena Al Ashqar’ with whom they have four children; Shania Serena Infantino, Dahlia Nora Infantino, Alessia Infantino, and Sabrina Infantino.

The couple lives in Zug-Switzerland and have their second home in Qatar which explains why Giovanni was often seen on ‘site’ during the 2022 World cup.

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