Gianni Infantino elected new president of FIFA

FILE PHOTO: During the UEFA 2014/15 Futsal Cup Preliminary and Main Round Draw at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football, on July 3, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. Photo: 90min.com

Gianni Infantino of Switzerland has been elected the new FIFA president after winning a second-round vote against his closest rival, Sheikh Salman of Bahrain.

Mr. Infantino got 115 of the 207 eligible votes to win decisively against Mr. Salman, who got 88 votes. The Bahraini was tipped as the front runner during the campaign period. Prince Ali of Jordan had four, and Jerome Champagne of France got zero.

Mr. Infantino had pulled a surprising lead with 88 votes while Mr. Salman had 85 votes, Prince Ali 27, and Mr. Champagne seven.

Mr. Infantino will take office immediately and will serve till 2019.

“We will restore the image of FIFA and the respect of FIFA, and everyone in the world will applaud us,” Mr. Infantino said in speech punctuated with a mixture of English, French and Italian.

Delegates earlier approved changes that will prevent corruption such as a maximum 12-year term for senior officials, pay disclosures and a complete overhaul of the executive board, a group at the centre of the majority of wrongdoing.

“FIFA has gone through sad times, moments of crisis, but those times are over and we need to move forward,” he said to the delegates. “We need to implement reforms and implement good governance and transparency.”

The only African in the race, South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale, suspended his campaign Friday,

Mr. Infantino, 45, is the General Secretary of European governing body UEFA. He is the second straight FIFA president from the Valais region in the Swiss Alps, after his disgraced predecessor, Sepp Blatter.

Mr. Blatter and UEFA boss Michel Platini were originally banned from all football-related activities for eight years for financial impropriety. But the ban was later reduced to six years after by a FIFA appeal committee.

They were both found guilty of a $2 million, disloyal payment to Mr. Platini. They denied any wrong doing and have vowed to challenge the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


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