ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA boss Gianni Infantino has met United States president Donald Trump to discuss preparations for the 2026 World Cup which the country will co-host with Mexico and Canada, the global soccer body said on Thursday.
Infantino travelled to Washington to discuss the establishment of a FIFA headquarters in the U.S. for the tournament and review preparations, FIFA said in a statement.
“President Infantino thanked President Trump for his great commitment to the success of the FIFA World Cup 2026 and his engagement in a bright future for soccer in the US,” said the statement.
Infantino also made a courtesy visit to U.S. Attorney General William Barr where he used the opportunity to “personally thank the U.S. authorities… for their work in the fight against corruption in football.”
Several dozen football officials, mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean, were indicted in the United States in 2015 on corruption charges, leading to the biggest scandal in FIFA’s history. Several of those have since been jailed.
“Ever since I was elected, we have shown our determination to eradicate malpractice that tarnished FIFA’s reputation in the past,” said Infantino, who was elected in 2016.
“I have had similar meetings in Switzerland, and FIFA’s lawyers are also in regular contact with prosecutors and law enforcement agencies wherever and whenever needed,” he added.
“In this way, I am fully convinced that the credibility and reputation of FIFA is being restored at the highest level.”
Infantino himself is the subject of criminal proceedings in his native Switzerland which have been launched by a special prosecutor looking into meetings that the FIFA president had with former Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber.
Lauber and Infantino have denied wrongdoing.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)