Switzerland, Zurich: Gianni Infantino has been elected as the new president of FIFA, succeeding the banned Sepp Blatter on a term until 2019. Infantino, the UEFA general secretary, received 115 votes in Friday’s second round of voting, more than the required majority of 104 votes from the 207 members. The other favourite, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, had 88 votes.
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan had four and Frenchman Jerome Champagne none. The 45-year-old former lawyer saluted voters by patting his right hand over his heart, and had to compose himself before starting his acceptance speech.
Infantino said, “We will restore the image of FIFA and the respect of FIFA. And everyone in the world will applaud us”, referring to bribery and corruption investigations that have rocked football’s governing body and forced Blatter out of office after more than 17 years as president. He added, “I want to be the president of all of you … It is time to return to football. FIFA has gone through hard times, crisis times”. In the first round, Infantino surprising led with 88 votes. Sheikh Salman had 85 votes, Prince Ali 27, and Champagne seven.