New FIFA president Gianni Infantino wants players to become more involved in the administration of the sport and has suggested a cautious approach to the use of technology.
“It’s important that the players are involved because they are the stars of football,” he said in an interview on FIFA’s website, one day after taking charge of the world soccer’s ruling body.
“They have to be involved in the decision-making process. We need to listen to the players, we need to listen to their voices, to their experience, to involve them in the activities we do.”
Infantino, elected on Friday to replace his disgraced predecessor Sepp Blatter, has inherited an organization which has been plagued by scandals over the last year.
Following his victory, Infantino told the delegates: “I want to be the president of all of you. I travelled through the globe and I will continue to do this. I want to work with all of you to restore and rebuild a new era where we can put football in the center of the stage.”
“Fifa has gone through sad times, moments of crisis. But those times are over.” Later, he told the media: “We enter now a new era. We’ll restore the image of Fifa and make sure everybody will be happy with what we do.”
Several dozen soccer officials, including a number who held high-ranking FIFA positions at the time, have been charged in the United States and Blatter himself has been banned for six years for ethics violations.
Infantino said the sport could not neglect the use technology to help referees but had to be careful about interrupting matches too much.
“It’s crucial to see what impact technology will have on the flow of the game,” he said.
“Football is a special game, it’s the most beautiful and most important sport in the world and we don’t have to kill football.
“If the flow of the game is guaranteed, then I think we need to see how technology can help the game, we have to start with tests sooner rather than later.”