IT’S the image that has gone viral on social media, ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa embracing new FIFA boss Gianni Infantino, moments after the Swiss had been elected leader of world football in Zurich on Friday. But the big question is what did the two football leaders discuss in that warm embrace that was captured live by the BBC and Sky Sports television cameras?
Chiyangwa returned home on Saturday night and yesterday the Harare businessman refused to shed light on what he discussed with Infantino as the Swiss national basked in the glory of his finest hour.
“What l can just tell you is that l went to congratulate my brother for becoming the most powerful man in the world football,” said Chiyangwa. “I felt compelled to go and congratulate him because it’s not easy to win such tough races and that the battle went into a second round goes to show that it wasn’t easy.
“Of course, we discussed some other things in that moment but that’s not for public consumption right now.”
Infantino’s victory is a massive boost for African football associations after the Swiss promised that he will boost the funding that the football controlling bodies receive annually from FIFA. The associations have been receiving $250 000 annually from FIFA in development aid but they will now receive $1 250 000 a year for the next four years.
The Confederation of African Football leadership had promised to deliver all the 54 votes from the continent to Sheikh Salman of Bahrain. However, there was always the possibility that some of the African countries would rebel against their leadership. The outcome of the vote, where Sheikh Salman got 88 votes in the second round, also shows that he did not get all the African votes.