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Infantino will be the only name on the ballot paper when Fifa meet in Paris

Fifa president Gianni Infantino will be the only name on the ballot paper when the 211 member associations meet in Paris. Credit: PA

Fifa president Gianni Infantino will be the only name on the ballot paper when the 211 member associations meet in Paris on June 5 to decide who should run world football's governing body for the next four years.

Candidates for the role had until midnight on Tuesday to gather nomination letters from five countries and, as expected, only Infantino has managed this.

In a short statement, Fifa said: "Following the call for election issued by the Fifa Council on 10 June 2018, FIFA's member associations have proposed, in due time and form, the following candidate for the presidential election to take place at the 69th Fifa Congress in Paris on 5 June 2019: Mr Gianni Infantino."

The 48-year-old Swiss-Italian will now only need to pass the formalities of a Fifa eligibility and integrity check before being crowned again.

Infantino was elected president at Fifa's emergency gathering in February 2016 and was given the job of completing the four-year term Sepp Blatter had won a year before.

Former Tottenham, Celtic, Watford and Switzerland defender turned businessman Ramon Vega had expressed his desire to run against Infantino but the 47-year-old failed to garner enough support.

That does not, however, mean Infantino is universally popular within world football - in fact, the former Uefa general secretary has upset many of his former colleagues at the European confederation with his attempts to increase Fifa's revenues and control of the game.

Candidates for the role had until midnight on Tuesday to gather nomination letters from five countries and, as expected, only Infantino has managed this. Credit: PA

A trained lawyer, Infantino spent the first half of his first term trying to restore Fifa's reputation with a series of governance reforms but the second half of his current term has been dominated by rows about his ideas to revamp the Club World Cup and start a global Nations League.

Despite concerns about a dilution in quality, increasing the strain on players and overburdening hosts, Infantino has managed to force through an expansion of the World Cup from 32 teams to 48 in 2026, when the tournament will be staged in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

The prospect of 16 additional World Cup slots, though, has endeared Infantino to many FAs outside Europe, as has the increase in annual development grants.

But his idea to bring the expansion forward to Qatar 2022 has not been so successful, as it would require the Qataris sharing the tournament with their neighbours - a non-starter while they are embroiled in a bitter diplomatic dispute.

A final decision on that proposal, and updates on his Club World Cup and Nations League ambitions, will come at a meeting of the FIFA Council in Miami next month.

It is expected that he will be disappointed on all three fronts but the prospect of four more years to try other approaches to cement his legacy might be enough of a consolation prize.