UEFA names Theodoridis as interim replacement for Infantino

Fri Mar 4, 2016 10:21am EST
 
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NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) - European soccer's governing body UEFA confirmed on Friday that Theodore Theodoridis will take over as acting general secretary from Gianni Infantino who was elected as FIFA president last Friday.

Theodoridis, a 50-year-old Greek citizen, had been Infantino's deputy since October 2010, having joined UEFA in 2008 and initially working in the national associations division.

He will effectively be responsible for running the day-to-day operations of UEFA, a task that includes overseeing this year's European Championship in France which will feature 24 teams in June-July.

UEFA also faces a year that could be critical for the future of the Champions League.

The format for the competition's 2018-2021 cycle must be decided by the end of the year and there have been suggestions that big clubs are pushing for radical changes, which could include automatic places for some of them.

Theodoridis said UEFA would hold a presidential election as soon as Michel Platini's appeal against his six-year ban had been heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the highest tribunal in sport.

UEFA has not appointed an acting replacement for Platini and Theodoridis denied there was a power vacuum.

"UEFA has a very strong executive committee and also an administration that throughout the last four months has been run by its competent staff, by its directors and faced no particular issues," he said.

Platini was initially banned and place under investigation in October over a 2 million Swiss franc ($2.02 million) payment he received from FIFA in 2011 for work done for its former president Sepp Blatter nearly a decade earlier.   Continued...

 
Newly appointed acting UEFA general secretary, Theodore Theodoridis of Greece, attends a news conference in Nyon, Switzerland, March 4, 2016.   REUTERS/Denis Balibouse