Aleksander Ceferin named as UEFA's new president

The Slovenian replaces Michel Platini in UEFA's top job

BY Newstalk 10:44 Wednesday 14 September 2016, 10:44 14 Sep 2016

Aleksander Ceferin. Picture by: Thanassis Stavrakis / AP/Press Association Images

Slovenian Aleksander Ceferin has been elected as the new president of UEFA, European football's governing body.

The 48-year-old lawyer, almost unheard of at the start of the campaign, beat his Dutch rival Michael van Praag by 42 votes to 13 at an extraordinary congress in Athens.

Ceferin will now complete the remaining two-and-a-half years of former president Michel Platini's term, after the Frenchman was banned from all football activities in December.

In August the FAI revealed the Ceferin was their preferred candidate to be Michel Platin's permanent replacement.

"I have seen first hand the great work that Aleksander has done for football and we have been very impressed with him so far," John Delaney said.

"I believe that he has all the attributes to bring and create the perfect balance to bring UEFA forward."

"He has been a very progressive and extremely innovative leader in his native Slovenia and his successful candidacy would be a very positive move for European football and the administration as a whole."

"Dear friends, thank you for your fantastic support," Ceferin said after the result was announced. "It's a great honour, but also a great responsibility. It means a lot to me .and my family is very proud, and my small and beautiful Slovenia is very proud about it. I hope one day you will also be proud of me.

Prior to the vote, Ceferin used his 15-minute pitch to delegates Athens to address concerns about his age and experience. He also described himself as a "team player" and vowed to be "the most accessible and approachable UEFA president ever".

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