Fifa presidential election: Gianni Infantino is the new FIFA President

Gianni Infantino has succeeded fellow Swiss Sepp Blatter as president of world football’s governing body Fifa.

The Uefa secretary general polled 115 votes, 27 more than closest rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein (4 votes) and Jerome Champagne (0) were third and fourth respectively.

Blatter, who had led Fifa since 1998, stood down last year and was later banned from football for six years for breaching ethics guidelines.

The election was initially due to be fought between five candidates, but South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale withdrew before voting began in Zurich.

The first round of voting at the Fifa congress failed to determine an outright winner, though Infantino led with 88, three more than pre-vote favourite Sheikh Salman.

A simple majority of more than 50% – 104 votes – was sufficient for victory in round two.

Infantino is a 45-year-old lawyer from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland, less than six miles from Blatter’s hometown of Visp.

An emotional Infantino told delegates that he was finding it hard to “express my feelings in this moment”.

But he told delegates that together they would “restore the image of Fifa and the respect of Fifa”.

He added: “I want to work with all of you together in order to restore and rebuild a new era of Fifa where we can put again 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.”

How has his election been received?

Gary Lineker, an outspoken critic of Fifa and former president Blatter, wished Infantino “all the best” following his appointment.

The former England striker added on Twitter: “He’s got one hell of a job on his hands but seems a decent chap. Needs a sizeable new broom.”

The television presenter then joked: “Have this weird feeling that Gianni Infantino will pull off his mask to reveal Sepp Blatter.”

Portuguese great Luis Figo added his congratulations, tweeting: “Finally the change arrived. It’s time for a new era in Fifa.”

To help the new president tackle the crisis that has enveloped Fifa, key reforms were passed to help make it a more transparent and accountable organisation.

All salaries of Fifa officials will be disclosed, while a limit of four years has been placed on a president’s term.

A new council to replace the current executive committee has also been introduced, featuring a female representative from each confederation.

English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said the reforms were “more important” than the new leader as they will provide an “opportunity for Fifa to start again”.

Has Blatter reacted?

Yes, the 79-year-old issued a statement following the election.

It read: “I congratulate Gianni Infantino sincerely and warmly on his election as the new president.

“With his experience, expertise, strategic and diplomatic skills he has all the qualities to continue my work and to stabilize Fifa again.”

What now for Fifa?

Infantino has a hard job resurrecting he fortunes after a number of damaging episode’s in the organisation’s history.

Criminal investigations in the United States and Switzerland have resulted in the indictment of dozens of football officials and other entities for corruption, many of them serving or former presidents of national or continental associations.

In addition, Fifa has been forced to investigate the awarding of several World Cup finals, especially the decision to grant the 2018 tournament to Russia and the 2022 finals to Qatar.

Swiss authorities are reviewing more than 150 reports of suspicious financial activity linked to those awards and said they had sent more documents, including an internal Fifa report to US investigators.

What else happened in Zurich?

To help the new president tackle the crisis that has enveloped Fifa, key reforms were passed to help make it a more transparent and accountable organisation.

All salaries of Fifa officials will be disclosed, while a limit of four years has been placed on a president’s term.

A new council to replace the current executive committee has also been introduced, featuring a female representative from each confederation.

English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said the reforms were “more important” than the new leader as they will provide an “opportunity for Fifa to start again”.

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