Vassilios Skouris FIFA elect Greek as head of ethics committee

FIFA 2.0: FIFA President Gianni Infantino unveils "FIFA 2.0: The Visions for the Future" - a strategic roadmap for the institution.

Gianni Infantino slammed "fake news" and "alternative facts" surrounding FIFA and insisted football's scandal-ridden governing body had changed in an impassioned speech to its annual congress in Bahrain on Thursday. This has been the week when Fifa's credibility and supposed willingness to tackle corruption has been reduced to shreds at its 67th Congress, as the chairmen of the organisation's investigatory and judicial committees have been abruptly and clinically removed from post their posts by Infantino.

Getting into his stride, he also reaffirmed his belief that FIFA's finances were healthy, saying: "We don't have to bullshit with alternative figures".

Asked by reporters to provide examples of "fake news", Infantino said: "Generally, it's my feeling".

COMPETITIONS: FIFA Organises eight tournaments, including three women's football events: the Olympic Football Tournaments, the U-17 World Cup in Jordan and the U-20 Would Cup in Papua New Guinea. "It is a deeply honest organization".

"Sadly the truth is not exactly what is true, it is what people believe to be true", he said.

The Swiss-Italian has been criticised for a perceived lack of action since replacing Sepp Blatter in February 2016 but Infantino has suggested "fake news" from "FIFA-bashing" countries has unfairly portrayed his presidency in a negative light.

In an impassioned speech to the Federation Internationale de Football Association membership, Infantino also claimed "FIFA bashing had become a national sport in some countries" and reiterated his insistence that the scandal-hit organisation had reformed following its troubled past.

Earlier this week, the FIFA Council also controversially replaced chief ethics investigator Cornel Borbely and ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, both of whom were instrumental in investigating and banning 70 corrupt officials, including Blatter and Michel Platini.

The two ousted officials claimed the fact that they were not reappointed meant the end of FIFA's ongoing reform process. We will not accept any good governance lesson from any of these individuals who have miserably failed in protecting football, protecting Fifa, and in protecting football from Fifa.

"Well, they all miserably failed".

The German FA president Reinhard Grindel has said their replacement with new chairmen was Infantino's decision, and there has been speculation that Infantino was angered by the ethics committee's preliminary investigation into him past year, which cleared him of wrongdoing.

Without naming anybody, Infantino then launched into a remarkable attack on "many highly-paid experts" who simply "rubber-stamped a sick and wrong system". "It is not me saying it, it is the criminal courts saying it all over the world".

  • Angelo Rivera