Swiss Gianni Infantino brought Sepp Blatter’s 17 year reign in FIFA to completion. The former general secretary of the UEFA vowed to put an end to the corruption and mismanagement that was linked with Sepp Blatter’s rule.
The 45-year old Law graduate entered the FIFA presidential race when he realized that the UEFA boss, Michel Platini could not contest.
“I thank Michel Platini for everything that he has taught me and given me and the work we have done together,” Infantino said. “I have strong, dear thoughts for Mr Michel Platini right now.”
He told a FIFA congress in Zurich,
“I will work tirelessly to bring football back to FIFA and FIFA back to football, this is what we want to do.
“I feel a lot of emotion and have not realised yet what has happened today. It is still very fresh and it’s been a long and exciting journey and I probably need some time to chill out and see what has happened.”
Five candidates were meant to contest, but South African Tokyo Sexwale quit before the first round of election in Zurich, leaving HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Jérôme Champagne and Gianni Infantino to contest. The South African announced his withdrawal during what was supposed to be his pre-election speech.
207 of the 209 FIFA associations were entitled to vote, leaving out associations of Indonesia and Kuwait who could note vote due to being suspended. The winner was expected to have at least two-third majority, since this was not the case during the first ballot, there were two.
During the first poll, the result were as follows;
HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein: 27 votes
Shk. Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa: 85 votes
Jérôme Champagne: 7 votes
Gianni Infantino: 88 votes
HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein: 4 votes
Shk. Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa: 88 votes
Jérôme Champagne: 0 votes
Gianni Infantino: 115 votes
The second poll gave Infantino a simple majority, and the Swiss man is expected to rule FIFA till 2019. Besides the reforms that have been implemented to make FIFA transparent and corruption-free, unlike Mr Blatter’s, Infantino has his reforms which he pledged to implement upon assumption of the FIFA presidency. Some of them include; increasing financial assistance by paying out $5 million to every national soccer association over the next four years, expanding the World Cup to 40 teams from 32 as from 2026, among others.