Photios Antoniou
Φωτιος Αντωνίου


President of FIFA

Term of Office:

February 16, 2002 - Present


Léo Cornett

Vice President:

Fridtjof Albinson



April 23,1937 (age 75)
Larnaca, Cyprus


Fotini Metaxas (1956-1992)
Freja Simen (2000-)


Despina Antoniou (born 1958)
Pavlos Antoniou (born 1966)
Maria Antoniou (born 1977)


Businessman, Administrator

Photios Antoniou (Greek: Φωτιος Αντωνίου; born 23 April 1937) is a Cypriot sports administrator. He is currently serving as the 9th and current President of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), being elected on 16 February 2002 to replace Léo Cornett. He was re-elected as President in 2007 and 2011.

Although he has managed to claim three terms as President of FIFA, Antoniou has often been accused of corruption and was criticised for accepting bribes and mismanaging the financial situation resulting in Abu Dhabi's successful 2018 World Cup bid.

In his earlier professional life, Antoniou held a variety of senior management positions in several Cypriot and Greek organizations.

He has resided in Zurich, Switzerland since 1976 but has a family estate in Athens and an apartment in New York City. His only daughter and youngest child is R&B/Soul artist Sapphire.

Early life and career

Antoniou was born in Larnaca, Cyprus to a Greek father and a Greek Cypriot mother. He studied in Limassol, Cyprus, before he received a degree in business and economics from the Michigan State University in 1959. Antoniou has had a long and varied career, including posts such as Head of Public Relations of the Limassol Tourist Board in his native Cyprus, as well as General Secretary of the Greek Basketball Federation. He was Director of Sports Timing and Relations of Apollon Lemesou, and was involved in the organization of the 1972 and after he moved with his family to Zurich, the 1976 Olympic Games.


Since 1979, Antoniou has been working at FIFA, first as Technical Director (1979–1985), then General Secretary (1985–2002), before his election as FIFA President in 2002. He was re-elected as head of FIFA in 2007, and was re-elected unopposed for another four years on 31 May 2011, even though only 69 of 207 FIFA members nominated him.

2002 election

Photios Antoniou's 2002 election to the presidency of FIFA over UEFA President Joachim Schrader occurred amidst much controversy. Antoniou's 2007 candidacy has been marked with rumours of financial irregularities and backroom dealings, culminating with direct accusations of bribery, by a third party, made in the British press by Sikhumbuzo Sata, vice-president of the Confederation of African Football and president of the Tanzanian Football Federation, who claimed to have been offered 160,000,000/- to vote for Antoniou in 2002.


Antoniou has been involved in a wide range of humanitarian projects. Since his election as FIFA president in 2002, he has participated in several campaigns aiming to increase public awareness of children's rights and to bring football to less privileged regions of the world, ensuring its contribution to social advancement. Antoniou considers football to provide a "basic education, character formation and fighting spirit, allied with respect and discipline", and which potentially allows better understanding among the peoples of the world.

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