Gianni Infantino has been elected by world football’s governing body FIFA as the new president to succeed Sepp Blatter.
The Swiss-Italian UEFA secretary general who entered the race only when his boss Michel Platini was suspended polled 115 votes, 27 more than closest rival, the Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa.
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein (four votes) and Jerome Champagne (0) were third and fourth respectively.
Infantino was elected by the Extraordinary FIFA Congress held in Zurich, Switzerland, as the 9th FIFA President after the second ballot. He is to serve for the remainder of the current term of office (until 2019).
Gianni Infantino is a 45-year-old multilingual lawyer from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland, less than six miles from Sepp Blatter’s home town of Visp, he spent €500,000 of UEFA funds touring the globe in the run-up to the elections.
The election was due to be fought between five candidates, but South African Tokyo Sexwale withdrew before voting began in Zurich.
The first round of voting failed to determine an outright winner, though Infantino led with 88, three times more than pre-vote favourite Sheikh Salman.
A simple majority of more than 50% – 104 of 207 available votes – was sufficient for victory in round two.
An emotional Infantino told delegates that together they would “restore the image of FIFA and the respect of FIFA.”
“I want to work with all of you together in order to restore and rebuild a new era of FIFA where we can again put football at the centre of the stage.
“FIFA has gone through sad times, moments of crisis, but those times are over. We need to implement the reform and implement good governance and transparency. We also need to have respect.
“We’re going to win back this respect through hard work, commitment and we’re going to make sure we can finally focus on this wonderful game,” he concluded.