Gianni Infantino elected FIFA president

Infantino beat off competition from Sheikh Salman amongst others

BY Cian Roche 17:00 Friday 26 February 2016, 17:00 26 Feb 2016

 Gianni Infantino has been elected FIFA president following this afternoon's vote in Zurich.

Delegates from around the world had gathered to elect a new head of world football's governing body to succeed disgraced former president Sepp Blatter.

The UEFA secretary general was declared the winner after two rounds of voting, and the declaration of 207 delegates eligible to vote.

Infantino secured the victory with 115 votes, a simple majority.

Infantino beat off a strong challenge from Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa, president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). 

The results of the first round were as follows:

-  Ali bin al-Hussein: 27 VOTES

- Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa: 85 VOTES

- Jérôme Champagne: 7 VOTES

- Gianni Infantino: 88 VOTES

The results of the second round were as follows:

-  Ali bin al-Hussein: 4 VOTES

- Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa: 88 VOTES

-  Jérôme Champagne: 0 VOTES

-  Gianni Infantino: 115 VOTES

Among the many promises he made during his campaign, Infantino said he wanted the World Cup to not only be expanded to 40 teams but that hosting would take place regionally rather in the one or two-country model.

Sheikh Salman made a similar guarantee, saying: "increasing the number of teams that can participate in the World Cup will certainly help football to develop".

Sepp Blatter received a six-year ban from football-related activity for ethics violations over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs to former front-runner for the position Michel Platini. UEFA president Platini also received a ban, removing him from the election.

Infantino defeated Jérôme Champagne, a Blatter adviser for 11 years, Jordanian Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, and South African Tokyo Sexwale – all considered outsiders. 

South African candidate, Tokyo Sexwale, dropped out of the race during the opening speeches.

Giving his victory address, Infantino said that he wants to restore FIFA's reputation in the eyes of the world, saying that "everyone in the world will applaud us and all of you for what we will do for FIFA". 

Image: Michael Probst / AP/Press Association Images

He noted that, with five candidates, there were always going to be more losers than there were winners, but "it was a great sign of democracy in FIFA, and I want to be the president of all of you, of all 209 national associations".

He added that he will look to work with all member nations "in order to restore and rebuild a new era in FIFA where we can put again football in the center of the stage". 

Switching to French, Infantino closed by saying that "the time has come to return to football. Football has gone through sad times, FIFA has gone through sad times, moments of crisis, but those times are over.

"We need to go forward and implement the reforms, implement good governance and transparency, but we need to have respect. We're going tow in back the respect that the entire world owes to football". 

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