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ZURICH, February 26. /TASS/. Gianni Infantino, one of the four candidates running for the FIFA presidency, announced on Friday that international football development would be receiving $1.2 billion annually in case he was elected the head of the world’s governing body of football.
FIFA member associations convened in Zurich on Friday for its extraordinary Congress with the main aim of electing the organization’s new president and vote on the landmark reformations to the organization.
Each of the five candidates were granted 15 minutes to make their final speeches before the voting began and Infantino, who was the fourth in line to speak, announced: "When I speak about figures and when I propose figures I know what I am talking about."
Infantino, who is the secretary general of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), wrote in his letter addressed to FIFA member associations on Thursday that he proposed "reinvesting back into football development around $1.2 billion out of over [FIFA] $5.5 billion revenues."
During his 15-minute speech on Friday, Infantino reiterated his proposal to representatives of member associations saying that the sum of $1.2 billion belongs to football associations.
"The money of FIFA is your money, not the president or anyone else," he said.
Concluding his speech, which was two minutes shorter of the allowed quarter of an hour, Infantino said: "The leader cannot be alone. And I will need you. I will be there for you every day and every night."
Born in Switzerland, 45-year-old Infantino served as the UEFA secretary general since 2009 and speaks fluently English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.
A total of five candidates were initially running for the post of the FIFA presidency: South Africa’s ex-Minister of Housing Construction Tokyo Sexwale, UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino, FIFA Vice President and Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, former-FIFA Secretary General Jerome Champagne and President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
However, minutes before the election of the new FIFA president Tokyo Sexwale, announced the decision to withdraw his candidacy.
The voting procedure to determine the new president is enshrined by FIFA regulations and is as follows: "For the election of the FIFA President, two-thirds of the votes of the FIFA members present and eligible to vote are necessary in the first ballot. In the second and any other requisite ballot, a simple majority (more than 50%) of the valid votes cast is sufficient."
"If there are more than two candidates for the office of FIFA President, whoever obtains the lowest number of votes is eliminated as from the second ballot until only two candidates are left… If there is only one candidate, a simple majority (more than 50%) of the he valid votes cast is sufficient in the first ballot."