ZURICH: FIFA president Gianni Infantino has met United States President Donald Trump to discuss preparations for the 2026 World Cup which the country will co-host with Mexico and Canada.
Infantino attended a signing ceremony this week for a diplomatic deal to improve relations between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Infantino travelled to Washington to discuss the establishment of a FIFA headquarters in the US for the tournament and review preparations, FIFA said in a statement.
“President Infantino thanked President Trump for his great commitment to the success of the FIFA World Cup 2026 and his engagement in a bright future for soccer in the US,” said the statement.
Infantino also made a courtesy visit to US Attorney General William Barr where he used the opportunity to thank the authorities for their work in the fight against corruption in football.
Several football officials, mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean, were indicted in the United States in 2015 on corruption charges, leading to the biggest scandal in football history. Several of those have since been jailed.
Infantino expressed determination to eradicate malpractice that tarnished FIFA’s reputation in the past and said that he is convinced that the credibility and reputation of FIFA is being restored at the highest level.
Infantino himself is the subject of criminal proceedings in his native Switzerland launched by a special prosecutor looking into meetings that the FIFA president had with former Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber.
The Swiss proceeding relates to Infantino potentially inciting Lauber to commit abuse of public office and breach of official secrecy. Lauber, who has since resigned in the fallout from the case, and Infantino have denied wrongdoing.