Former international player and president of the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF), Lise Klaveness made an impression, in Mondovision, when she openly criticized the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar, in March 2022, during the congress of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) in Doha.
While the NFF will not support Gianni Infantino at the FIFA congress on Thursday March 16 in Kigali (Rwanda), Lise Klaveness, 41, returns in an interview with Monde on the balance sheet of the boss of world football, the only candidate for his succession.
What is your view on Gianni Infantino’s record at the head of FIFA?
We must first recognize the great challenge of leading the highest body of world football. The task of uniting its 210 members is not easy. That said, we are very concerned about the direction Gianni Infantino has been taking lately. There are missed opportunities. From the perspective of the NFF, his behavior over the past few months is worrying as we see him moving further and further away from the reforms and change he announced in 2016 that won him the election. .
Is Gianni Infantino the “man of reform” of FIFA and the system he claimed to be in 2016 when he was elected?
From what we’ve seen and heard from Gianni Infantino lately, I can’t say he is. He has missed many opportunities to walk the talk when it comes to the reforms he championed on paper, such as FIFA’s human rights policy.
Too often we see him trivializing violations of these rights and using divisive rhetoric that not only undermines the universal human rights principles on which football is based, but also fuels conflict and polarization between East and East. West. This approach does not allow him to fulfill his most important mandate as head of FIFA, namely the unification of world football.
On the other hand, there have been positive developments: there is now money for the development and education of member associations, which is crucial for the future of the game. There are also many talented and competent people who work within FIFA at the administrative level.
Has he kept his promises since his induction in 2016?
I don’t think he delivered on all the promises made in 2016. In general, we see a decrease in transparency during decision-making processes in football – Noël Le Graët’s post [comme délégué à l’annexe de la FIFA à Paris] being just a recent example.
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