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Infantino says FIFA was 'clinically dead' when he took over

AFP  |  Moscow 

said Wednesday that world football's governing body was "clinically dead" when he took over following a corruption scandal that engulfed his predecessor

Two years later, it was "very much alive" and full of "joy", with a clear vision for its future, he said in his opening address to the Congress in on the eve of the opening match of

is being investigated by Swiss prosecutors for alleged corruption during his 17-year reign at the of

Elections that handed to in 2018 and in 2022 have since been the target of allegations of bribery and spelled the end for

has put FIFA on a sound financial footing and ushered in the introduction of innovations such as the Referee system to analyse controversial on-pitch incidents during matches.

Russian Vladimir Putin, who gave a short speech to the FIFA Congress, praised Blatter's successor.

"We know that became the of FIFA in difficult times but he has steered it well, like a true fighter," Putin said.

Infantino, the former of football's European governing body UEFA, was little known before he took over sport's richest governing body.

The United States, and Canada, the three nations bidding to host the 2026 World Cup, helped gather support for his election.

It is thought Infantino will return the compliment by backing the bid, which faces competition from Morocco, in a vote of FIFA member nations later Wednesday.

The choice of the 2026 host nation will be made by up to 207 nations after the rules were changed to widen the voting college following the controversial ballots.

and were picked by the 24-member FIFA Committee, several members of which have been convicted on corruption charges.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 16:00 IST