The head of the German FA has criticized FIFA President Gianni Infantino over his leadership style. Reinhard Grindel accused the FIFA boss of a lack of transparency in his approach to a couple of key issues.
Speaking in an interview published by the German sports portal Sportbuzzer.de on Wednesday, DFB President Reinhard Grindel said the way FIFA boss Gianni Infantino was trying to introduce new tournament formats and sell off commercial rights was doing nothing to improve the world governing body's negative public image.
"Through the non-transparent way in which he is dealing with these issues, he is reinforcing many prejudices about FIFA," Grindel said.
The DFB boss was referring to Infantino's efforts over the past few months to introduce a global Nations League and expand the FIFA World Club Cup to 24 teams. There have also been reports that a consortium of investors is prepared to pay FIFA $25 billion over 12 years for extensive rights to not just those two tournaments but also to the World Cup.
"I would welcome it if FIFA were to set up an open discussion process and involve those affected – the clubs, the leagues and the associations – much more in the discussions," Grindel said.
So far, FIFA board members have declined to approve the deal and a task force has been set up to look at possible formats, dates and slot allocations for the two new or revamped tournaments. It is to present its findings at the next meeting of the FIFA Council in March.
The German FA boss also revealed that he doesn't have the warmest personal relationship with the FIFA president.
"It is marked by different perspectives on a number of issues," Grindel said.
pfd/jh (SID, dpa)