Europe’s biggest soccer clubs are lending their support to UEFA interim chief Gianni Infantino’s FIFA presidential campaign ahead of the February 26 election.
Vice-chairman of the 200-body union, Umberto Gandini, announced the decision at a news conference during a general assembly.
“Obviously, we have known Gianni Infantino since many years, Gianni was on our side when we reached the agreement within the governing bodies to found the ECA and he’s always been very instrumental for the development of the relationship between clubs and the association under the UEFA umbrellas, therefore we can say that we look with sympathy to his candidacy, that we wish him all the best in this electoral contention,” he said.
The ECA, an independent body which replaced the now defunct G-14 group of leading clubs in 2008, has two representatives on the UEFA executive committee but has no direct role in the presidential voting conducted by FIFA’s 209 members.
Infantino and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) chief Salman are front-runners in the widely publicized poll.
Other election candidates include Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, ex-FIFA executive committee member Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, former FIFA deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne and South African Tokyo Sexwale, a former political prisoner who was jailed alongside Nelson Mandela.