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Gianni Infantino wins FIFA presidential elections


Photo: Getty Images

Former UEFA secretary Gianni Infantino has been elected as the new president of FIFA by the extraordinary FIFA congress in Zurich.

The Swiss will take the responsibility of improving the image of FIFA following the latest scandals that have been connected with the global football governing body in the past few years.

Before the beginning of vote-casting, South African candidate Tokyo Sexwale announced his withdrawal from the race due to a lack of support.

The first round of the elections failed to declare a winner as none of the candidates failed to collect the required majority – over 50% of the votes – to win the elections outright. Infantino won the the first round with 88 votes, three ahead of Asian Football Federation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa of Bahrain.

Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Hussein collected 27 votes as Jerome Champagne only managed seven votes in the final two spots.

In the second round, Infantino was announced as the winner of the FIFA presidential elections after collecting 115 votes, ahead of Sheikh Salman who received won 88. Prince Ali garnered four votes, while Champagne ended the second round with no votes.

The 45-year-old is now the ninth president in the history of FIFA, and he follows in the steps of compatriot Sepp Blatter who had led FIFA since 1998 and until his egregious exit last year.

Blatter resigned just days after winning his fifth successive FIFA elections last January, and he received a subsequent six-year ban from all footballing activities along with former UEFA president Michel Platini.

“It is very hard to express my emotions, but I’ll work to restore the image and the respect of FIFA,” Infantino said after being declared as the the winner.

“I want to work with all of you together to rebuild and restore a new era of FIFA, where we can again put football at center-stage. FIFA has gone through sad times and moments of crisis but those times are over,” the newly elected president added.

“We need to implement 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.”  he concluded.

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