Friday, February 26

Breaking News: Gianni Infantino Emerges FIFA President After Zurich Election

Breaking News: Gianni Infantino Emerges FIFA President After Zurich Election

New Fifa President, Gianni Infantino

Federation of International Football, FIFA has elected a new president today in a hotly contested election in Zurich

Gianni Infantino has been elected as the new president of FIFA, having been voted in to replace the disgraced Sepp Blatter at Friday’s election in Zurich.

The Uefa general secretary beat Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan and the former Fifa deputy general secretary Jérôme Champagne. The South African Tokyo Sexwale withdrew moments before the first vote. Sheikh Salman had been favourite to succeed Blatter because of support from the Asia and Africa, while Infantino had the backing of Uefa members.

“Dear friends, I cannot express my feelings in this moment,” Infantino told the Fifa Congress. “I told you I went through a journey, an exceptional journey, a journey which made me meet a lot of fantastic people, who love football and breath football and live football every day.

“We will restore the image of Fifa and the respect of Fifa and everyone in the world will applaud us. I want to work with all of you together in order to restore and rebuild a new era of Fifa where we can put again football at the centre of the stage. Fifa has gone through sad times, moments of crisis, but those times are over. We need to implement the reform and implement good governance and transparency. We also need to have respect. We’re going to win back this respect through hard work, commitment and we’re going to make sure we can finally focus on this wonderful game that is football.”

Voting went to a second round after none of the candidates received the required two-thirds majority in the first round at the extraordinary congress. Infantino led the first round, with 88 of the 207 votes cast, ahead of Sheikh Salman’s 85 votes, Prince Ali’s 27 and Champagne’s seven.

It was the first time voting for the Fifa presidential election had reached a second round since 1974, when João Havelange of Brazil became the first non-European president ahead of England’s Sir Stanley Rous.

A two-thirds majority (138 votes) was required to win in the first round, but a simple majority of more than 50% (104 votes) was sufficient for victory in the second round.

Infantino secured 115 votes to Sheikh Salman’s 88 to become the second successive Swiss president, after Blatter.
The 45-year-old lawyer is from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland, less than six miles from Blatter’s hometown of Visp.

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