Gianni Infantino wins FIFA presidential election
Gianni Infantino won the FIFA presidential election on Friday, securing enough votes on the second ballot to secure the organization's highest office.
Infantino, UEFA's general secretary, received 115 votes on the second ballot, while his closest challenger, Sheikh Salman, received 88.
No candidate received two–thirds of the vote on the first ballot, setting up a second ballot. On the first ballot, Gianni Infantino received 88 votes, while Sheikh Salman received 85. Prince Ali, who had the support of the United States in the first ballot, came in third with 27 votes. Jerome Champagne earned seven votes. Tokyo Sexwale dropped out of the election before the voting.
“I want to be the president of all of you,” Infantino told the 209 FIFA member nations after winning the election.
The special election was held after Sepp Blatter announced his intention to resign from the presidency in June as FIFA became embroiled in a major corruption scandal. Blatter had won a fifth term just days earlier despite the arrests of a number of top soccer officials.
In December, Blatter was banned from the organization for eight years due to a controversial payment to Michel Platini in 2002. The suspension was reduced to six years on Wednesday. Issa Hayatou has served as FIFA's interim president since October.
“We will restore the image of FIFA,” Infantino said in his victory speech.
You can watch Infantino's victory speech below:
While the U.S. supported Prince Ali on the first ballot, U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said after the election that the U.S. delegation supported Infantino on the second ballot.
Gulati also tweeted his congratulations to Infantino on his victory.
Infantino was considered one of the favorites to win the election.
- Stanley Kay and Jeremy Woo