Football : Gianni Infantino elected new FIFA president
UEFA General Secretary receives 115 votes to replace Sepp Blatter.
ANKARA (AA) - Gianni Infantino has been elected the new president of FIFA in an extraordinary congress held in Zurich.
Infantino, 45, received 115 votes, defeating favorite Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s royal family, in the second round of voting.
"I cannot express my feelings in this moment,” the Swiss-Italian told the congress following his victory.
“I told you I went through an exceptional journey, which made me meet many fantastic people, who live and breathe football, and many people deserve to see FIFA is highly respected. Everyone in the world will applaud us for what we will do. Everyone will be proud of what we will do," he said.
Sheikh Salman came second with 88 votes while Prince Ali al-Hussein of Jordan was supported by only four countries.
The fourth candidate, Frenchman Jerome Champagne, failed to receive a single vote.
Fifth contender Tokyo Sexwale had withdrawn from the race shortly before the voting.
Infantino, 45, has been working for UEFA since 2000. He was a lawyer within the European football's governing body in his first years. He has been UEFA General Secretary since 2009.
The Swiss-Italian replaces Sepp Blatter who was hit with a six-year ban from football-related activities.
Infantino had said that he aimed to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup tournament from 32 to 40.