Doha (Netvision): – I’m very disappointed with his driving, Karin Espelund (61) tells Netvision.
She knows well the disgraced Swiss-Italian who is now FIFA’s supreme president, and who is under fire – both for her monologue before the World Cup premiere, and because FIFA has threatened Sports penalties if team captains wear One Love armbands.
Espelund himself was a member of UEFA’s governing body when Infantino was elected FIFA president in 2016.
in the Netflix series FIFA: Unveiled You can see her applauding the Swiss as the newly elected president at the conference in Zurich. Then Infantino came from the post of UEFA General Secretary.
Now the 61-year-old, who is today the managing director of museums in Sør-Trondelag, almost regrets the appearance of her former curatorial colleague after he took over from Sepp Blatter.
She says she was part of the UEFA governing body that proposed Infantino as FIFA president six years ago, but never in her wildest dreams did she think things would go wrong.
– I had the feeling that Sepp Blatter’s ambition before leaving was that he worked extensively to get the Nobel Peace Prize and to work on the world stage. Infantino comes out immediately. Espelund tells Netavisen that he will stick with several government leaders and elders.
She makes no secret that she almost feels responsible when she sees how Infantino leads FIFA.
– He walked in exactly the same footsteps and in the same dimensions as Blatter, and I think that’s very sad and unfortunate.
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– The Sun King, in his opinion
Espelund says that in her time, along with the rest of UEFA, she registered what they thought were necessary changes after the scandals with Blatter towards Infantino.
It lists extreme terms such as FIFA president, minimum age, and not least the distribution of power between the board and management, whereby the principle should be that the board should take collective decisions as necessary.
After the Nordic part of UEFA during Espelund’s tenure argued for a clearer separation between elected office and current administration, everything changed when Michel Platini became UEFA president in 2007.
– Infantino was an example of this at FIFA. In his own opinion, he will become the Sun King, shooting Espelund, who continues.
He considers himself an actor in world peace and the G20 countries, and continues what Blatter was a master of; To build alliances. Especially with Africa, and he’s using tools that deal with the economic distribution model, you say.
She explained that Infantino promotes FIFA at the expense of the confederations, and that she also does not recognize the proposals for changes that she and her UEFA colleagues proposed to Infantino after his election.
– I apologize for this development.
Espelund is supported by Andreas Selliaas. manages the site SportsHe believes that the FIFA congress in 2023 is a clear sign of power moving away from the European continent.
The addition of a conference for Rwanda is also a strong signal, no doubt. Two or three years ago, FIFA almost took over the presidency of CAF because they thought it was uncontrollable, he told Netaviesen.
He understands that Congress has been added to Rwanda to recognize the African continent and strengthen Infantino’s position.
— also potentially making it difficult for critical journalists to get there. It is a sign of the transfer of power from Europe.
This is why the World Cup in Qatar is so controversial:
- Since the award was awarded in 2010, there has been a wail of allegations of corruption and sports laundering against FIFA. Of the 22 people who voted for the Gulf state to win the World Cup, 16 were suspended, charged or ended up in prison.
- As a result of the intense heat, the tournament will take place in the winter – in the middle of the season for the vast majority of players.
- Seven of the eight World Cup arenas have been built from scratch, and the working conditions of migrant workers in the country have been the subject of heated debate in the run-up to the World Cup. A Guardian newspaper report in 2021 showed that 6,500 workers have died in Qatar since the award was awarded 12 years ago. In addition, the “sponsorship system,” which means that employees cannot change jobs or move home without their employer’s consent, has received heavy criticism. For its part, Qatar has claimed the criticism surrounding human rights is unfair, and is also said to have suspended the country’s kafala system.
- The World Cup host has stated that everyone is welcome to the tournament in November, despite the fact that the country is governed by Islamic law. In principle, this means that homosexuality can be punished with imprisonment of up to seven years. According to Human Rights Watch, many LGBT people have been documented being monitored and arrested for their online activism.
Sources: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Sky News.
He described it as “incomprehensible.”
In 2016, Infantino was elected FIFA President by a large margin. Infantino is a man of high integrity, Espelund said at the time, after the Swiss-Italian made quite an impression on the podium during the FIFA Congress in Zurich – in part thanks to his keen ear for speaking.
– He made a kind speech at the conference, but what happened next is almost incomprehensible. It’s an old saying that power somehow corrupts, because it got off the ground too quickly in regards to the Sun King’s tendencies.
– Do you feel a little cheated almost?
– Yes, or at least very frustrated with the development. Both the moves he made in FIFA, what it looks like, dealing with Qatar, salary and understanding of the role. There are many things that I criticize. I am very disappointed.
Infantino made headlines when he attended a press conference the day before the opening of the World Cup in Qatar. At the scheduled press conference, which was scheduled to last 45 minutes, he spent nearly an hour attacking critics of Qatar.
Espelund believes the letter is further evidence that the 52-year-old is leading FIFA in an absolutely insane direction.
He completely fails to make himself a victim. And he confirms what I was thinking – he creates contradictions and conflicts in his formulations about Europe against the rest of the world. He creates images of enemies within the organization, and he does not understand what Qatari criticism is.
Just over a week ago, it also became clear that Infantino would secure another four years as FIFA president, after no opposing candidates.
This means that he will be the only candidate at the FIFA Congress in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. The “elections” will take place on March 16, 2023.
– Infantino is running for re-election and was re-elected because no one wanted to run as an opposition. He ousted all his critics and made alliances with Asian and African countries. In this way, he showed his position through a game, Celias concludes.
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