Sepp Blatter had a few words of warning for Gianni Infantino as he takes over as head of FIFA
Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter had some words of warning for his successor Gianni Infantino as he gets ready to take on the role.
Blatter, who was banned from all footballing activities for eight years (reduced to six on appeal last week), wrote an open letter to Infantino as he prepares to step into the hot seat.
Published in French paper Journal du Dimanche, Blatter wished him well, and remembered their first meeting in Neuchâtel more than 20 years ago. He stated that "you have won and I am happy, because you are a good man, a young man, and a neighbour", referencing the fact that Infantino was from Brigue, a town very close to Blatter's native Viège.
However, the tone of the letter wasn't all pleasant, as he issued a warning to Infantino to "remember that this position you wanted will not be easy. Miracles will be expected."
Image: Matthias Schrader / AP/Press Association Images
He added that the reforms which were passed by the extraordinary congress had in fact been put in motion by Blatter himself, which will help Infantino, and reminded him that his federation, UEFA, did not want to go along with the reforms proposed in 2013.
He further warned that Infantino needed to "be vigilant. While everyone supports you and tells you nice words, know that once you are the president, friends become rare."
In closing Blatter remarked that while "I am no longer president", he would gladly accept the French system whereby "once we are elected President, we remain a president forever!".