Infantino 'bought' Fifa votes: Zamparini

MILAN • Outspoken Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has courted controversy by claiming Gianni Infantino "bought" votes on his way to being elected president of Fifa.

Infantino was voted world football's new chief on Friday, the 45-year-old Swiss-Italian lawyer ending Sepp Blatter's controversial 18 years in charge.

Although Infantino has pledged to restore the battered image of Fifa, and despite his victory being widely applauded by key figures in the game, Zamparini cast doubt on whether the election process was fully transparent.

He claims doubts remain over the rise to power of the second-in-command at European football's ruling body Uefa.

"The system doesn't change and the new president of Fifa, the chief of bureaucrats, was part of it all before," Zamparini is quoted as saying in a video clip on www.mediagol.it.

"If he got elected, it's only because he bought more votes than the sheikh (Sheikh Salman Ebrahim Al-Khalifa)."

Blatter's chequered history as chief of world football saw Fifa become embroiled in several cases of vote-buying.

Infantino won the election in the second round with 115 votes, from Asian football chief Sheikh Salman, who received 88 votes.

The Swiss revealed on Monday that he had not discussed his salary following his election.

The pay of Blatter, suspended from football for six years, has never been made public. The reforms voted in by Fifa last week to help it put the corruption scandals behind included one on salaries being open to scrutiny.

"I know you can't believe it, but it's not (for the) money that I was candidate to become Fifa president," he told reporters after a friendly football match with employees and guests that included Luis Figo and Fabio Cannavaro.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2016, with the headline 'Infantino 'bought' Fifa votes: Zamparini'. Print Edition | Subscribe