Gianni Infantino has become FIFA’s ninth president after being elected in Zurich on Friday and has promised to ‘restore a new era’ to world football’s governing body.
45 year old Swiss-Italian lawyer and former university administrator from the European Federation, UEFA, becomes the ninth head of the world governing soccer federation
The FIFA presidential election on Friday entered a second round of voting for the first time in 42 years after Infantino of Switzerland secured more backing than pre-vote favourite Sheik Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa of Bahrain in the first round, when a two thirds majority was required to win.
A simple majority of more than 50 per cent – 104 votes – was sufficient for victory in the second round.
Former UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino becomes new FIFA president after beating Sheik Salman
Infantino said: ‘FIFA has gone through sad times, moments of crisis, but those times are over’
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter praises Infantino’s ‘experience, expertise and diplomatic skills’
Sheik Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa of Bahrain finished well behind Infantino with 88 votes
Sheik Salman congratulates Infantino after his extraordinary victory at FIFA congress in Zurich
And Infantino secured 115 votes to Sheik Salman’s 88 to become the second successive Swiss president, after Sepp Blatter.
The 45-year-old lawyer is from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland, about six miles from Blatter’s hometown of Visp.
Blatter was first appointed in 1998 and had been voted in five times, including last May, but he stepped aside days later amid allegations which led to a six-year ban from football-related activity, which he is contesting.
His resignation prompted the world governing body’s extraordinary congress in the most pivotal period of FIFA’s 112-year history.
On Infantino’s appointment as FIFA president, FA chairman Greg Dyke, who supported the 45-year-old, told Sky Sports News: ‘I think he’s very hard working, and I think he would make sure it was properly organized, properly structured place.
‘I think he will find a good chief executive – because that’s the crucial thing here, finding a good chief executive to run things.
‘But I don’t think he’s a politician, whereas we’ve just has a politician for many years.’
Infantino will serve the remaining term of office for which Blatter was elected last May, meaning there will be a further election in 2019.
He told congress: ‘Dear friends, I cannot express my feelings in this moment. I told you I went through a journey, an exceptional journey, a journey which made me meet a lot of fantastic people, who love football and breath football and live football every day.