South America to back Gianni Infantino in FIFA election

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino gives a press conference following a UEFA Executive meeting on October 15, 2015
Image: UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino has been backed by CONMEBOL

FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino has won the backing of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).

The globetrotting UEFA general secretary has visited 50 countries in the past three months and his campaigning is paying off.

Earlier this week the Central American Football Union (UNCAF) pledged their seven votes to him and CONMEBOL announced on Thursday that their 10 votes would be going to Infantino as well.

The new president will be elected in a secret ballot at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on February 26. Each one of FIFA's 209 member associations has one vote. A candidate needs two thirds of the votes to win in the first round.

In subsequent rounds, the candidate with the lowest number of votes drops out and a simple majority is required to win.

Infantino appears to making up some ground on the favourite Sheik Salman of Bahrain. Sheikh Salman, who is president of the Asian Football Confederation, can count on most of Asia's 46 votes and he is well-positioned to receive the backing of the African Football Confederation's 54 votes.

As the European candidate, Infantino will receive nearly all UEFA's 53 votes and he can now also count on the support of South America.

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NYON, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 24:  Gianni Infantino, UEFA General Secretary, shows the name FC BATE Borisov during the UEFA Champions League Q2 qualifying round
Image: Infantino is also backed by several Central American countries

Infantino said: "I am honoured to have the unanimous support of my colleagues at CONMEBOL and I'd like to thank them, along with colleagues from UNCAF, UEFA and the many other Football Associations that have declared their support for my candidacy and my vision to take FIFA and football forward."

Infantino is hosting a special event at Wembley on Monday. If he wins, he wants to make FIFA more transparent and increase the World Cup to 40 teams. He has also pledge to increase development funds to FIFA member associations.

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