Friday, 26 February 2016
UEFA Secretary general Gianni Infantino elected as new FIFA president
The UEFA secretary general beat off competition from Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein and Jerome Champagne. Tokyo Sexwale opted to drop out of the race shortly before the day's maiden ballot got underway.
None of the candidates had managed to collect the 2/3 majority required to win after the first ballot, meaning that a second ballot with a lower majority threshold was then required.
The first round of the voting process began early on Friday afternoon, with 207 of FIFA's 209 member associations (Kuwait and Indonesia were banned from taking part) making their choice for a new future.
Africa (CAF) and Europe (UEFA) had the most voting power, with 54 and 53 national associations respectively, while the smaller South America (CONMEBOL) and Oceania (OFC) confederations had just 21 votes between them.
Prior to the presidential election a wave of reforms were passed at the congress as FIFA looks to open a new chapter following the corruption scandals that have plagued it in recent times.
The salaries of the president, council members, secretary general and other relevant individuals will now be disclosed on an annual basis. In future presidents will be limited to a maximum of three four-year terms, while the executive is to be replaced by an elected council.
There will also be a movement to promote more women in football, with at least one female council member for each of the confederations.
The accession of Infantino now formally marks the end of Sepp Blatter's reign and it is hoped that FIFA can draw a line under the damaging and unsavoury events of the last few months and years.
The widely unpopular 79-year-old Blatter, who is currently banned from all footballing activity following an investigation by the FIFA ethics committee, had won re-election just last year but later opted to step down after feeling he lacked support.
Congratulations to Mr.Infantino for winning the election.