BVIFA supports Infantino as new FIFA President

By BVI Football Association

Avanell Morton, Andy Bickerton and Paul Hewlett in attendance at the FIFA Congress. Photo: Provided

Avanell Morton, Andy Bickerton and Paul Hewlett in attendance at the FIFA Congress. Photo: Provided

The British Virgin Islands Football Association (BVIFA) President, Mr. Andy Bickerton, along with Mr. Avanell Morton, Assistant Secretary / Operations and Mr. Paul Hewlett, General Secretary, all returned to the Territory last week after the FIFA Elections happy with the result and excited by the future of Football.

Gianni Infantino was elected as the ninth President of the World Governing Body of Football after the second ballot with 115 of 207 total votes, holding off the challenge from Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.

“We (the FA) supported Infantino in the second round because of declarations made by him in his manifesto and speech at the FIFA Congress,” ” commented Bickerton. “He stated that every member of FIFA should have a national stadium and that’s encouraging as well as his promise to look at increasing the development fund distributions, which would mean the FA could assist Virgin Gorda with improving the Festival ground in a similar way to what is happening at East End.”

Prince Ali Bin el Hussein had been the original first choice of the FA, but once it became apparent that he was struggling after the first round, the FA decided to go with Infantino.

“We intend to continue lobbying FIFA on other issues such as representation rules to play for the country and will also be making a case with the new Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) president when elected in May of this year to bring change to the current rules,” concluded Bickerton.

Morton hailed the election of Infantino as a breath of fresh air. “The BVI and the Caribbean will benefit from having Infantino as the new head of world football,” he stated. “After the result there was a breath of fresh air, relief , joy and happiness. It was a great decision for the entire football family.”

CONCACAF member associations also voted unanimously, during its annual congress held the day before the FIFA congress, to approve a comprehensive package of reforms, which were first outlined in the CONCACAF Reform Framework and later drafted by CONCACAF’s Statutes Reform Committee, at the Confederation’s XXII extraordinary congress. CONCACAF’s revised statutes will become effective immediately as the confederation and its member associations begin implementing the reforms.

The reforms to CONCACAF’s statutes fundamentally change the governance structure of football in the region and set new standards for accountability and transparency within international sports organizations. Once fully implemented, CONCACAF’s new structure will ensure that decisions regarding the confederation’s operations are made in the best interest of CONCACAF member associations, confirm that there is strong external oversight of the CONCACAF Council and General Secretariat, and affirm that CONCACAF’s resources are being utilized to achieve the confederation’s mission of developing and promoting football in the region.