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Not the time to make deals: Gianni Infantino

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Lausanne: Gianni Infantino, the favourite to take the helm of FIFA, said in an interview published yesterday that there would be no deals among the candidates ahead of Friday's vote for a new president.

Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa and Gianni Infantino
Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa and Gianni Infantino

"This is not the time for deals," said the 45-year-old UEFA executive. He was responding to a question on whether he might consider a deal with his main opponent Bahrain's Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa. "There is no question of that. I think a democratic election is fundamental for the credibility of FIFA as an institution," Infantino said.

Like a World Cup final
Infantino insisted that a president legitimised through an election must head FIFA. "There is no doubt, I will be in Zurich on February 26 to win the election," he said, stressing that "an electoral congress for the presidency is like the World Cup final, you have to win it."

In addition to Salman, Infantino faces competition from South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale, Jordan's Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, a former FIFA vice-president, and former FIFA official Jerome Champagne of France.

In addition to Salman, Infantino faces competition from South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale, Jordan's Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, a former FIFA vice president, and former FIFA official Jerome Champagne of France in the vote of FIFA's 209 federations

"A couple of months ago, I was not even thinking about launching into this adventure. But football is going through a difficult period. Some people therefore must step up and take their responsibility," he said.

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