Support for acting Uefa chief places Infantino alongside Sheikh Salman as frontrunners in Fifa presidential race.

Gianni Infantino’s bid for the Fifa presidency has received a boost with the announcement by the the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol), that it will support the Swiss at next month’s election.

“The Conmebol’s Executive Committee has decided to support Gianni Infantino’s candidacy and work plan for the FIFA presidency,” announced the organization in a release on Thursday, reported Xinhua.

The publication also stated that the new executive committee, made up after the extraordinary Congress elected Paraguayan Alejandro Dominguez as the new Conmebol president, “has given its unanimous approval,” for Infantino.

With this support in addition to the bulk of the European delegates and also the Central American Football Union (UNCAF), Infantino, the acting general secretary of UEFA, is in a strong position to succeed Sepp Blatter as president of football’s governing body.

A two-thirds majority is needed to win the election in the first round of voting. After that, a simple majority will do.

“I am honored to have the unanimous support of my colleagues at CONMEBOL and I’d like to thank them, along with colleagues from UNCAF, UEFA and the many other Football Associations that have declared their support for my candidacy and my vision to take FIFA and Football Forward,” Infantino said in a statement.

Infantino is one of the two front-runners for the position along with Asian Football Confederation President Sheikh Salman of Bahrain among the five candidates for the position.

The other candidates, who will participate in the elections on February 26 in Zurich (Switzerland), are Frenchman Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale and Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa from Bahrain.