14 June 2019 – Former Croatia captain Zvonimir Boban (50) has left his post at FIFA to take a role with his former club AC Milan.
Boban was FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Football) and had been an advisor to the FIFA President Gianni Infantino on strategic football matters since 2016. He has decided to resign from his role to become AC Milan’s Chief Football Officer, FIFA announced on its website.
“I will always be grateful to FIFA President Gianni Infantino for the opportunity he gave me after his election in 2016. True to his manifesto pledge to ‘bring football back to FIFA and FIFA back to football’, he had the courage to entrust a former footballer with such a far reaching role within the organisation,” Boban said ahead of leaving FIFA.
During his spell at FIFA, Boban has been involved in many reforms that are set to leave a mark on football history and that have helped to restore the organisation’s image.
“I feel really honoured and privileged to have worked on such important projects to take FIFA back to its rightful place, far away from past scandals and a tarnished image. Looking back, I feel a real sense of accomplishment about my contribution to these big changes over the last three years. I have been entrusted with leading important projects such as the revamp of the FIFA Club World Cup and the successful bidding process for the FIFA World Cup 2026™, as well as the revolutionary VAR project, which has managed to make the beautiful game fairer and protect its integrity.”
“None of this could have been achieved without the support of the President and amazing colleagues who are dedicated to serving the game of football across the globe. There may have been some debates along the way, but we have always upheld our motto of ‘Living Football’ and I will be eternally thankful to everyone,” Boban concluded.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino had words of thanks for the Croatian.
“I cannot thank Zvonimir enough for everything he has done for FIFA and football over the last three years by our side. His dedication to football and enthusiasm are incredible and he has been an invaluable asset for FIFA. Nobody embodies football better than he does and he has always worked for the good of the game.”
“Many of the positive changes that we have made over the last three years could not have been achieved without Zvone. He has shown the same commitment, heart and passion at FIFA that characterised his attitude on the pitch. We will miss him a lot at FIFA, but I wish him the same success in his new challenge at his beloved club,” said the FIFA President.
Former England striker and now football pundit, Gary Linekar, says Boban will be a big loss for FIFA.
Zvonimir Boban has left @FIFAcom to become Chief Football Operator with @acmilan. A great appointment for the Italian club, but a massive loss to FIFA. They’ve lost an honourable football man who was beginning to make a difference.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 14, 2019
Boban spent most of his playing career at AC Milan, winning four Serie A titles and the UEFA Champions League.