Former DFB boss Theo Zwanziger fears that President Gianni Infantino will rule the world association FIFA for years. “This man is on his way to becoming the eternal president,” said the 77-year-old in an interview with the Deutschlandfunk.
The lawyer from Altendiez believes that the Swiss will also question the term limit for the FIFA President installed under predecessor Joseph S. Blatter in the coming years in order to then consolidate his place “similar to China or North Korea for life”. Infantino’s second term officially lasts until 2027, after which he can stand for another period until 2031 according to the currently valid statutes.
According to Zwanziger, the man from Valais has removed all the control mechanisms that were created during Blatter’s tenure. Especially in the independent ethics committee, Infantino changed people. He has a network with many allies, but no real critics in the countries that depend on FIFA’s money. “That’s the Infantino method,” emphasized Zwanziger. “You can call it corruption, but it’s just being practiced there.”
That’s why it’s all the more important, Zwanziger said to the German Football Association (DFB), not to remain silent about these events: “Even a minority has the duty to open their mouths and not duck away in fear of any risks. That’s the only way it can to do something better. If you remain silent, you make yourself an ally of evil.”
Zwanziger expressly praised DFB President Bernd Neuendorf, who, before Infantino’s re-election at the FIFA Congress last Thursday in Kigali/Rwanda, had refused to follow the FIFA boss. Zwanziger: “We have character. There are things that are wrong with us. The decision of the DFB President, of the entire DFB, deserves respect.”
This clear signal from the DFB president was enough for him: “This is not FIFA the way we want it to be. That is a sign. I don’t think you could expect much more from anyone in this situation.”