UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino has been elected to the helm of the world football body by 207 FIFA member associations, and pledged to focus on football in a new era for the organisation.
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Gianni Infantino has been elected President of FIFA.
The 45-year-old qualified lawyer and UEFA General Secretary was elected to the helm of world football's governing body by 207 FIFA member associations at an Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich on Friday. He becomes the ninth President in FIFA’s 112-year history.
Infantino was one of five candidates who stood for the FIFA presidency and won the election in the second ballot with a total of 115 votes. The other candidates were HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein (Jordan), Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Bahrain), Jérôme Champagne (France) and Tokyo Sexwale (South Africa), who withdrew his candidature shortly before the election.
"I cannot express my emotions at this moment," said Infantino after his election. "We will restore the image and respect of FIFA throughout the world. I want to be the President of all 209 national associations, and work with all of [them] together to build a new era within FIFA where we can put football in the centre stage again, and focus again on this beautiful game."
Infantino joined UEFA in 2000, having served as secretary-general of the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. He also worked as an adviser to various football bodies, including the Italian, Spanish and Swiss football leagues.
Following his arrival at UEFA, Infantino used his considerable professional experience in addressing a wide range of legal, commercial and professional football matters. In January 2004, he was appointed director of UEFA's legal affairs and club licensing division.
Infantino acted as the European body's CEO in an ad interim capacity from February to May 2007, and was named UEFA's deputy General Secretary in the same year. From 2007-09, he occupied the role of director of governance and legal affairs, and became UEFA General Secretary in October 2009, succeeding the late David Taylor.
Following the election of Gianni Infantino as FIFA President, the UEFA Executive Committee will discuss the position of UEFA General Secretary at its next meeting on 4 March.