- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

ZURICH (AP) - FIFA President Gianni Infantino will announce his salary “as soon as it has been confirmed.”

The decision comes after claims that he refused a 2 million Swiss franc ($2.02 million) offer made by FIFA’s remuneration panel chaired by Domenico Scala.

“My salary should not be a central issue in (the FIFA reform process),” Infantino, who was elected three months ago, wrote in Thursday’s edition of Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

“From the start, I made clear that my salary will be a matter of public record and that it should be lower than the salaries of the previous FIFA president and secretary general.”

FIFA’s financial report for 2015 shows that it paid base salaries of 2.96 million Swiss francs ($3 million) to then president Sepp Blatter and 1.514 million Swiss francs ($1.53 million) to secretary general Jerome Valcke. Both got other FIFA payments totaling several hundreds of thousands of Swiss francs (dollars).

Before Infantino was elected, a FIFA pay panel led by then-audit committee chairman Scala set a presidential salary.

Scala resigned his FIFA positions on Saturday in protest after FIFA member federations voted in new powers for the Infantino-led ruling council to hire and fire members of independent oversight committees.

Another factor in Scala’s exit was a dispute over presidential pay talks, former FIFA anti-corruption adviser Mark Pieth told The Associated Press. Pieth was key to bringing Scala to FIFA in 2012.

Scala’s pay panel had also decided that the secretary general should be the highest-paid FIFA employee.

Infantino’s newspaper article did not specify if his salary should be less than the secretary general he hired last week, United Nations development official Fatma Samoura of Senegal.

In another hiring Thursday, FIFA announced that former Croatia and AC Milan midfielder Zvonomir Boban would join as Infantino’s “special adviser on football matters.”

A similar role was filled in 1999 by Michel Platini months after Blatter was first elected president. Seventeen years later, that deal led to both men being banned by FIFA for conflict of interest over an uncontracted $2 million payment.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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