Gianni Infantino’s Online Reputation During Qatar World Cup

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has been in the spotlight since Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup.

Indeed, the statements of the world soccer boss have been detrimental to his image.

ReputationUP has analyzed Gianni Infantino’s online reputation, selecting from November 20th to December 7th as the study date.

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Who is Gianni Infantino?

Giovanni Vincenzo Infantino is a Swiss-Italian lawyer who has chaired FIFA (International Federation of Football Associations) since 2016.

He started his career at UEFA’s office for legal services in 2000.

In 2004, he was appointed Director of Legal Affairs and the Club Licensing Division.

Three years later, he was promoted as Deputy General Secretary.

Who is Gianni Infantino ReputationUP

From 2009 to 2016, he held the position of secretary general of UEFA.

Infantino has been essential in Financial Fair Play, planning Global Nations League, and increasing the European Championship.

He has been an advisor to football bodies in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland and secretary general of the International Centre for Sports Studies.

Qatar as host of World Cup 2022

The target has been pointing to FIFA since Qatar was announced as the venue for the 2022 World Cup, becoming the first Arab country to host this tournament.

The decision was made at the end of 2010 when Gianni Infantino was secretary general at UEFA.

Criticism has grown since the awarding in 2010 increased the visibility of a nation that does not respect human rights.

Sabotage of rivals

The Times newspaper reported Qatar sabotaged its competitors during the voting process:

“The bid team hired former CIA agents and a public relations firm to spread fake propaganda about its main rivals, the United States and Australia.”

Sabotage of rivals ReputationUP

Four years earlier, in 2014, the Sunday Times revealed that the Arab country had paid more than $5 million in exchange for voting support.

The organizers have rejected the allegations of corruption, and twelve years on, FIFA’s controversial award process appears unassailable.

The conditions of workers

Qatar has built eight stadiums for the World Cup competition.

Only one designated venue existed; the other seven were built from scratch.

Migrants from the world’s poorest countries came to Qatar to work hard in low-wage, dangerous labor and extreme climate conditions.

The Guardian revealed that at least 6,500 migrant workers have died.

Qatar as host of World Cup 2022 ReputationUP

The government categorically denied this, and Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the World Cup Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, responded to The Guardian’s accusations in a CNN interview:

“The figure is inherently misleading. When a sensational headline comes out such as that, I understand people’s concerns. ”

Despite all the criticism since 2010, FIFA has not been silent, and Infantino’s statements have fuelled more global outrage.

Gianni Infantino’s previous speech at the World Cup

On November 19, on the eve of the opening ceremony, Gianni Infantino surprised the audience with his controversial statements during the announcements of the World Cup in Qatar.

The media around the world echoed the FIFA president’s press conference, responding to all critics against his person and management.

Despite the reputational risk, and in front of 500 accredited journalists, Gianni Infantino defended himself with the weirdest statement ever:

“Today I feel Qatari, Arab, African, gay, disabled, a migrant worker.”

Gianni Infantino's previous speech at the World Cup ReputationUP

Alluding to the bullying he suffered as a child and Qatar’s progress, he attacked Europe:

“I am European, and we should be apologizing before giving moral lessons.”

Qatar World Cup 2022

The Qatar World Cup lasts one month, starting on November 20 and ending on December 18.

Various events damaged Infantino’s digital reputation a few days after the World Cup began.

Gianni Infantino at the opening ceremony

Social media responded to the Qatar World Cup opening ceremony.

Gianni Infantino was sitting next to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, accused of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Twitter users also recalled Saudi Arabia’s intention to host the 2030 World Cup.

Gianni Infantino at the opening ceremony ReputationUP

In September, The Times reported on Saudi Arabia’s intention to host the next tournament alongside Egypt and Greece.

One Love

The participants competing at the Qatar World Cup agreed to wear the One Love armband to defend the rights of the LGTBI collective.

FIFA threatened to impose sporting and economic sanctions against teams wearing these armbands on the field.

Germany’s interior minister, Nancy Faeser, did participate in the initiative, wearing the bracelet during the Germany-Japan match.

Gianni Infantino was snapped in the pic of the day, posing next to Nancy Faeser to support the one love message.

The media criticized Infantino for his double moral: that of a FIFA president who forbids defending LGTBI rights but is pictured pointing at the armband in a show of support for this group.

Gianni Infantino: the analysis

our analysis has focused on the dates between November 20th to December 7th to monitor online reputation of Gianni Infantino.

The parameters are the following:

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ReputationUP uses a reputation monitoring software, the RepUP Monitoring Tool,  which analyzes in real-time what people say on Internet, combining Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.


The sentiment computes the percentage of positive or negative feelings generated by users on social networks.

The ReputationUP Study Center has also calculated the net sentiment generated by Gianni Infantino on Internet.

The net percentage is measured in a range between -100 and 100. All this appears in the following graph.

The sentiment data clarifies that Infantino needs an personal reputation management plan to improve his image.

Gianni Infantino’s positive sentiment is 10.9% compared to negative 29.2%.

These percentages calculate a net sentiment of -45.5%.

Sentiment Gianni Infantino ReputationUP

The most significant data is displayed in the first days of the World Cup with the controversies indicated at the beginning of the case study.


The RepUP Monitoring Tool also monitors the emotions that Gianni Infantino generates.

The software divides the different feelings as follows:

  • Anger;
  • Joy;
  • Sadness;
  • Fear;
  • Surprise.
Emotions Gianni Infantino ReputationUP

Anger is the predominant emotion with 50.9%, followed by sadness (28.2%), fear (12.3%) and joy (8.4%).

As it happens with the sentiment, the emotions are presented with greater force the first days of the World Cup.

The software patented by ReputationUP analyzes the network trends associated with Gianni Infantino.

Hashtags Gianni Infantino ReputationUP

#messi, #Maradona or #ronaldo are the few positive hashtags associated with Gianni Infantino.

As negatives, they relate, among others, #gay, #HumanRights, #FIFA, #migrant, or #fakefans.


The ReputationUP Study Centre, a leading online reputation management company, has analyzed Gianni Infantino‘s online reputation amid the Qatar World Cup 2022 controversies.

We can draw the following conclusions from this study:

  • The positive sentiment of the FIFA president is 10.9% compared to 29.2% negative;
  • The net sentiment is -45.5%, a very negative appreciation by online users;
  • Anger is the most significant emotion associated with the name of Gianni Infantino;
  • The positive trends related to his name are names of soccer players, the negative ones are associated with scandals that occurred at the start of the World Cup.

The RepUP Monitoring Tool extracts many vital results on digital reputation and sentiment.

Gianni Infantino‘s digital image was affected even before the Qatar World Cup began.

Awarding the Arab nation as a host twelve years ago was not welcome.

Failure to respect human rights and the suspicion of corruption and deaths in the construction of the stadiums have created a reputational crisis for FIFA that is difficult to resolve.

Although Infantino was not  FIFA president during the voting process, he picked up the witness of Platini, who, in 2010, announced Qatar as the organizer of the biggest soccer tournament.

Infantino’s unfortunate statements defending himself from attacks have harmed his image.

The current FIFA president is responding to the public, media, and social media critics.

His personal brand is already experiencing a severe reputational crisis, which he must face alongside that of FIFA.

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Access the RepUP Monitoring Tool platform now

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