Friday, February 26, 2016 6:30 pm
UEFA former secretary-general, Gianni Infantino is the new President of FIFA.
He was elected today after two rounds of voting at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland.
He edged out his main challenger, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa,winning 115 votes. Salman got 88 votes.
In line with the FIFA Statutes, the mandate of the new FIFA President started after the conclusion of the Congress.
At the beginning of the proceedings, it was confirmed to the Congress that 207 FIFA member associations were entitled to vote . The member associations of Indonesia and Kuwait could not vote due to their respective suspensions.
Africa’s only candidate, Tokyo Sexwale withdrew from the election after his address to the Congress.
In the first ballot, Salman and Infantino ran neck and neck, with just three votes separating them. In the second ballot however, Infantino galloped away with 115 to salman’s 88 votes.
HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein: 27 votes
Shk. Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa: 85 votes
Jérôme Champagne: 7 votes
Gianni Infantino: 88 votes
HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein: 4 votes
Shk. Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa: 88 votes
Jérôme Champagne: 0 votes
Gianni Infantino: 115 votes
Before the election, the Congress , approved a set of landmark reforms to FIFA’s governance structure, including improvements to the governance of global football, a clear separation of commercial and political decision-making, greater scrutiny of senior officials, and commitments to women in football and human rights.
An emotional Infantino later told delegates that he was finding it hard to “express my feelings in this moment’’.
But he told delegates that together they would “restore the image of FIFA and the respect of FIFA’’.
He added: “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.’’
*With materials from FIFA’s press statement