Imagination and lies, says Infantino of UEFA election link

Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:43am EDT
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA president Gianni Infantino has dismissed as "imagination and lies" any suggestion that he lobbied in favor of Aleksander Ceferin who was elected head of European soccer's governing body UEFA this week.

Ceferin, little-known outside his native Slovenia until three months ago, swept to a resounding win on Wednesday, picking up 42 of the 55 votes cast by UEFA's member associations.

The other 13 went to his only rival, experienced Dutch administrator Michael van Praag.

"Mr Ceferin has said it as well, this is imagination and lies and I think the result speaks for itself," former UEFA general secretary Infantino told reporters.

"It's an insult to the intelligence of the 55 associations who go and vote...convinced by a program."

In July, world soccer's ruling body FIFA denied a report in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant that Infantino was interfering in UEFA's election.

However, the allegations have continued to gather momentum and a report by the Norwegian website Josimar last week, which made similar claims, led to a brief spat between the two candidates.

Van Praag said in a tweet that he was "shocked" to read the story and that UEFA was back to its old way of doing business.   Continued...

FIFA President Gianni Infantino attends the World Summit on Ethics and Leadership in Sports at the headquarters of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland September 16, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich