Gianni Infantino elected FIFA president with 115 votes
Gianni Infantino has been elected the new president of FIFA after receiving 115 votes in the second round in Zurich.
The 45-year-old Swiss, who is of Italian origin, beat Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman, who was the favourite to succeed Sepp Blatter.
Prince Ali and Jerome Champagne were also in the running after Tokyo Sexwale withdrew from the raceshortly before voting began.
In the first round of voting, Infantino edged ahead with 88 votes compared to Sheikh Salman’s 85, Prince Ali’s 27 and Champagne’s seven, but the winner required two thirds of the ballot therefore a second round of voting got underway.
After announcing Infantino’s triumph, the former UEFA general secretary told congress: “I cannot express my feelings in this moment. I told you I went through a journey, an exceptional journey, a journey which made me meet many fantastic people.
“Many people who live football, who breathe football every day. We will restore the image of FIFA and respect of FIFA. Everybody in the world will applaud us for what we do with FIFA. We had a sporting competition and it was a great sign of democracy within FIFA. I want to be the president of all 209 of you.
“I travelled throughout the globe and I will continue to do this. I want to work with all of you together in order to restore and rebuild a new era in FIFA where we can again put football in 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.”
In the second round of voting, Sheikh Salman received 88 votes, Prince Ali four and Champagne did not get a single vote.
Infantino’s triumph is a historic moment for FIFA as he replaces Blatter, who has held office since 1998, following years of corruption allegations surrounding football’s world governing body.
Blatter is serving a six-year ban from all football activity due to allegations of a “disloyal” payment that he made to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011.
The probe into Blatter is part of a widespread investigation by Swiss and US authorities into corruption, with both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids under scrutiny.
Infantino, who ran for the presidency after UEFA chief Platini was banned for six years, takes on the role after spending six years at UEFA.