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Infantino becomes football’s most powerful man

Gianni Infantino has been elected as FIFA president after a second round of voting in Zurich.

UEFA general secretary Infantino won the election with 115 votes, with Sheikh Salman receiving 88 votes. Prince Ali received four votes and no votes were recorded for Jerome Champagne.

New FIFA President, Gianni Infantino
New FIFA President, Gianni Infantino

In his victory speech, Infantino said: “I told you I went through a journey, an exceptional journey and a journey which and many people who deserve FIFA to be respected.

“We will restore the respect people have in FIFA and everybody will applaud us, and they will applaud all of you for what you do.

“We have to be proud of what we do for FIFA. I would like to thank all of you and all of the other candidates.

“It was a great sign of democracy of FIFA. I want to restore a new era in FIFA where we put football at the centre of the speech.”

On Infantino’s appointment, FA chairman Greg Dyke said: “I think he’s very hard working, and I think he would make sure it was properly organised, 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.”

In the first round of voting, Infantino received 88 votes, Salman 85, Ali 27 and Champagne seven.

A total of 159 votes was required for an outright win in the first round of voting but that target was not reached and there was a second round for the first time at a FIFA presidential election since 1974.

Infantino will succeed Sepp Blatter, who had been in the post since 1998 but resigned last year under pressure amid escalating corruption scandals.

Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term in May 2015 but has since been banned for six years over a “disloyal payment” of £1.3m between him and UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011.

South African candidate Tokyo Sexwale used his 15-minute pre-election speech to officially withdraw from the race, leaving just four candidates on the ballot.


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