The politics of world football can be a pretty hard arena in which to navigate but John Delaney and the FAI have nailed their colours to the mast on behalf of sitting President of UEFA Alexsander Cefarin ahead of next February’s election for the post.
The Slovenian lawyer was elected in 2016 and also serves as a Vice President of FIFA.
The FAI Board, meeting as part of last week’s Festival of Football in Cork, agreed to endorse Cefarin for a second term.
He has visited Ireland before and seems to have a strong relationship with FAI CEO John Delaney who serves on the UEFA Executive Committee having been elected to that himself in 2017 with a near record tally of votes.
Cefarin will be back in Dublin in December for the draw for the Euro 2020 Championships where Dublin will host three groups stage games as well as one in the knock out round of 16.
That visit will also include a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee and other functions around the city.
The Irish endorsement of his campaign for election was one of eight alongside Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. He was formally nominated yesterday by his home FA.
His election in 2016 was to complete the term started by Michel Platini who had to vacate the position after a FIFA investigation.
The closing date for nominations is not until November and the strong show of support for Cefarin’s early bid announcement may yet deter others from standing in opposition.
Being seen to stand on the side of the winners is a key part of the political world and it certainly seems as though the FAI have stepped into that role with confidence.
Image Credit: FAI