Gianni Infantino has been elected the new FIFA President, succeeding fellow Swiss-born Sepp Blatter. He was one of four candidates running for the position after Blatter stood down late last year, and was later handed a six-year suspension from all football-related activities.
The pool of candidates stood at five coming into the day, which included the now president, Infantino, and the others included Tokyo Sexwale, who withdrew before voting began, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, and Jerome Champagne. The winner, Infantino, received 115 of the total votes, second was Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa and he received 88 votes, and then third was Prince Ali bin al-Hussein with four votes, and Champagne, who received no votes.
The Swiss-born president decided to run for presidency after former UEFA President Michel Platini was also suspended alongside Sepp Blatter. He said “I will work tirelessly to bring football back to Fifa and Fifa back to football,” and also added “I feel a lot of emotion and have not realised yet what has happened today. It is still very fresh and it’s been a long and exciting journey and I probably need some time to chill out and see what has happened.”
The voting needed two rounds to determine who would stand as the new President of FIFA, which is the first time it has needed more than one round since the 1974 FIFA election, when Brazilian-born Joao Havelange beat then incumbent, Stanley Rous of England. Infantino led the first round of voting over Sheikh Salman with 88 votes to the Sheikh’s 85 and then won the second round with his 115 votes.
Infantino, 45, is a lawyer and was born in Brig, which is in the Valais region of Switzerland.
Main Photo Credit:
Main Photo Caption: New FIFA President Gianni Infantino holds his first press conference in Zurich on February 26, 2016 following his election. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)