Fifa’s President Gianni Infantino has cautioned Football Associations to refrain from enriching themselves with funds allocated for the development of the game.
Speaking to a group of journalists in an interview co-anchored by Ghana’s Juliet Bawuah on the sidelines of a Fifa Executive Summit held in Mauritania over the weekend, Infantino reiterated that the world football governing body remains committed to the development of football hence the decision to quadruple the amount of its investment especially in African football.
“We’ve already been increasing the investment in African football. We’ve multiplied it by four from $27 million to [about] $100 million every year,” said the Italian.
But accessing these funds comes with strict control mechanisms the Fifa boss believes should effectively check misappropriation.
He said: “We have multiplied the funds by four. We are now on 1.4 billion… this increased investment also comes with increased control. It is normal [and] it’s clear that the money has to be invested into football projects
“We are controlling it by asking each association to sign a specific contract with agreed objectives with Fifa. We are monitoring each association, checking each project to make sure that it corresponds to what the request was. We are monitoring all our national associations to ensure that all our funds are used appropriately.
“These things never happened in the past and are happening now. I have said this already and will say it again; compliance is very crucial…
“If somebody still believes that he can enrich himself, illicitly or illegally with football money, then he should leave immediately because otherwise he would be caught and sanctioned,” Infantino warned.
Starting with Mauritania, Fifa, this year, is holding three summits on the African continent. According to Infantino, these events serve as occasions to showcase “what the new Fifa is about”, adding it is “a democratic organization.” The next Fifa Summit is Nigeria and will be followed by the last one in Tanzania.