ATR Golden 25 - FIFA President Gianni Infantino #20

(ATR) The FIFA leader heads to Russia for the 2018 World Cup and perhaps a seat on the IOC.

(ATR) The world will be watching as FIFA brings the World Cup to Russia in 2018.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, elected just over a year ago, will preside over his first World Cup this coming June and July.

Against the backdrop of the Russian doping scandal, FIFA and its president will need to assure the public the home team – as well as the rest of the 32 nations in the field – are clean.

He is number 20 in the 2018 edition of the Around the Rings Golden 25. Published since 1997, the Golden 25 is an annual review of people, events and issues expected to influence the Olympic Movement in the year ahead.

Infantino was elected FIFA president last January as a candidate who could restore the integrity of the world’s biggest sports federation. With dozens of former FIFA leaders snared in the probe by the U.S. Department of Justice, charges of money-laundering, bribery and other corruption have cast the federation as a haven for scoundrels.

Infantino, 47, could be headed to a seat on the IOC in 2018 that is customarily reserved for the FIFA president. But after the onslaught of accusations against Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter, the IOC wants to be sure Infantino won’t sully his membership in the manner of his predecessors.

2017 ranking - 18

Reported by Ed Hula.