World Cup TV directors ‘were ordered to show FIFA president Gianni Infantino at least once during each game’ in Qatar… but not if he was on his phone and only above the knee if he was sat next to a Sheikh!
- FIFA president Gianni Infantino attended all 64 matches at the Qatar World Cup
- He regularly appeared on TV broadcasts around the world when in the stands
- But his appearances were reportedly subject to strict rules given to TV directors
- Infantino couldn’t be shown if he was speaking on his mobile phone
- The TV shot also had to remain above the knee if he was sitting with a Sheikh
World Cup television directors were reportedly instructed to show FIFA president Gianni Infantino at least once during matches – but not when he was using his mobile phone.
Infantino managed to attend at least part of all 64 matches during the tournament in Qatar and was regularly seen on TV coverage broadcast around the globe.
According to The Times, there were strict rules on when Infantino could be shown by Host Broadcast Service [HBS], the Swiss-based company used for World Cup games.
TV directors at the World Cup were reportedly given instructions to show FIFA president Gianni Infantino at least once during each of the matches
Infantino, pictured after presenting Argentina’s Lionel Messi with the trophy, managed to attend at least a part of all 64 games at the tournament
Match directors were reportedly told that Infantino should be featured at least once during the broadcast, but he wasn’t to be shown if he was on his mobile.
If Infantino was sitting next to a Sheikh, no pictures of them below the knee were to be shown to protect cultural sensitivities.
The Times said there was at least one occasion when the TV feed cut to Infantino while on his phone, with the directors given a dressing down.
The TV pictures supplied by HBS are the ones bought by the BBC and ITV, plus all other broadcasters who pay FIFA for the World Cup rights.
TV footage had to cut away, however, if Infantino (left) was speaking on his mobile phone
Host Broadcast Service [HBS] supplied the feeds of TV coverage to channels around the world
These broadcasters have no say on the feed being supplied but use the pictures provided.
HBS is a subsidiary of Infront, which was taken over by China’s Wanda Group in 2015. Wanda is a FIFA sponsor.
Infantino proved a controversial figure during the World Cup, from his astonishing speech defending Qatar’s human rights record on the eve of the tournament to questions over why celebrity chef Salt Bae – a.k.a. Nusret Gokce – was allowed onto the pitch for Argentina’s trophy presentation.
Salt Bae got onto the pitch after the match, but Lionel Messi did not look pleased to see him
Angel Di Maria looked a little uncomfortable as he posed with Salt Bae and the World Cup
Infantino was also criticised this month for taking selfies in front of Pele’s open casket ahead of the Brazil icon’s funeral.
The FIFA president insisted he was asked for the selfie by the footballer’s grieving family and old team-mates, leaving him ‘humbled’.
Infantino (left) was criticised for appearing to take a selfie next to Pele’s open casket