European football showed its general frustration with FIFA President Gianni Infantino once again on Wednesday Globalism Trophy – this time in the Danish camp.
Denmark has vowed it will not vote for Infantino, who is running unchallenged for re-election in March. The president of the Danish Football Association, Jesper Müller, has also hinted that he wants to withdraw from FIFA membership.
“I’ve thought about it again,” Müller told Danish media in Qatar. “I imagine there might be challenges if Denmark goes it alone. But let’s see if we can’t have a dialogue.”
Mueller, who is a member of UEFA’s executive committee, said Denmark’s problems with the FIFA president predate the World Cup, but tensions with Europe have intensified in recent days.
Infantino used a press conference on the eve of the tournament to berate the European community and the media for what he said was the hypocrisy of their criticism of Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup.
Threats from FIFA to show yellow cards to captains who wanted to wear an unauthorized armband as part of its “One Love” campaign against discrimination prompted seven European teams to back out on Monday hours before three were scheduled to contest.
It was an unprecedented World Cup feud pitting FIFA against players in the build-up to one of the biggest matches of their careers.
In Germany’s camp, officials said on Tuesday they are considering a legal challenge to FIFA’s tactics at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The court said no appeal had yet been filed.
“We have to respond to it,” Mueller said. We’ll get to that with other countries. We’re in this together.”
Denmark also upset FIFA and Qatar by designing a team shirt that drew attention to dissatisfaction with the host country’s human rights record and treatment of migrant workers. The team has a third choice of black jersey, chosen in the “colour of mourning” for the workers who died in Qatar.
In Denmark’s opening match on Tuesday, former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt wore a rainbow armband in protest of Qatar’s record on LGBT rights. Mueller and Infantino also attended the match, which ended in a 0-0 draw.
Infantino claimed over the weekend that he had received support from more than 200 of FIFA’s 211 member associations to run for re-election. Denmark and Germany publicly declared that they would not vote for him.
The deadline for the candidates was November 16, days before members meet in Doha on Sunday, and no challenger has made the five valid pledges of support required to stay put. Electoral meeting March 16 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Infantino has been a longtime employee of UEFA, rising to be its general secretary when he was elected in 2016 to lead FIFA. His presidency saw many disagreements with his former European colleagues over football policy issues, and he was living in Qatar ahead of the World Cup while also working closely with Africa.
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