Gianni Infantino Elected As The New FIFA President
Gianni Infantino has become the new FIFA president after he received 115 votes during the second round of the election in Zurich.
The former UEFA general secretary edged his nearest competitor Sheik Salman, who got a total of 88 votes.
The pair were separated by just three votes during the first round leading to a second round of voting, which saw Infantino emerge victorious.
“I cannot express my feelings in this moment,” said the 45-year-old after the announcement of the result.
“I told you I went through an exceptional journey, which made me meet many fantastic people, who live and breathe football, and many people deserve to see FIFA is highly respected. Everyone in the world will applaud us for what we will do. Everyone will be proud of what we will do.
“We need to implement the reforms, but we also need to have respect, the respect that the entire world owes to football, and make sure that finally, once again, we can focus on this wonderful world that is football. I am too moved – let us work together for this.”
Voting for the new FIFA president went into a second round after Infantino and Salman failed to secure a two-thirds majority.
But UEFA general secretary Infantino narrowly edged Salman in the voting with 88 votes to 85.
Prince Ali received 27 and Jerome Champagne seven. To win in the second round, a candidate must reach 104 votes.
Ahead of last night’s presidential election, FIFA voted in favour of reforms designed to repair its image and guard against future misdemeanours after the worst crisis in its near-112 history.
The reforms, voted on at FIFA’s extraordinary congress in Zurich, address issues of governance, accountability, transparency and diversity.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Sexwale received a standing ovation after ending his bid to be FIFA president in his final opportunity to address the extraordinary congress.
The 62-year-old South African was the last of five candidates to address the 207 voting members who will decide on the successor to Sepp Blatter.
His charisma was on full show in the 15-minute speech, which he ended by announcing he would not take part in the ballot.
Sexwale said: “My campaign ends today and I suspend my participation. I leave only four people (in the race).”
There were 207 eligible votes (Kuwait and Indonesia are suspended) and 201 votes were cast on the reforms, with 89 per cent (179 votes) in favour. AGENCIES
FINAL VOTE TALLY
Gianni Infantino – 115 votes
Sheikh Salman – 88 votes
Prince Ali al-Hussein – 4 votes
Jerome Champagne – 0 vote