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Gianni Infantino elected as new FIFA President – SportsUntapped.com
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Added March 2nd, 2016 by Ian

Gianni Infantino elected as new FIFA President
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Gianni Infantino was elected as the new president of FIFA last week as the world’s governing board of soccer hopes to usher in a new corruption-free era. Infantino replaces the disgraced former president and fellow countryman Sepp Blatter of Switzerland. Infantino, who belongs to the European body of UEFA, became a late candidate after UEFA President Michel Platini of France was banned from soccer for six years along with Blatter.

The 45-year-old Infantino said that one of his first jobs will be to try and regain FIFA’s trust from people such as World Cup sponsors and broadcasters. Infantino is a former lawyer who won the vote to replace Blatter in the second round of the election process. He was named on 115 ballots out of a possible 201 to win a majority decision against Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman, who was actually favoured to win the election. Blatter, who is now 79 years old, was in charge for 17 years and FIFA was alleged of numerous instances of corruption, bribery, and scandals during his reign.

After winning the vote, Infantino remarked, “We will restore the image of FIFA and the respect of FIFA. And everyone in the world will applaud us.” Leading up to the election, Sheikh Salman appeared to be the favourite with many voters, but he was named on just 88 ballots during the second round of voting. Prince Ali of Jordan came in third place with only four votes while France’s Jerome Champagne didn’t receive a single vote.

During the first round of balloting, Infantino had 88 votes while Sheikh Salman of the Asian soccer federation had 85. Prince Ali was named on 27 ballots and Champagne had seven. Infantino is currently UEFA’s general secretary and he will serve as the president of FIFA until his term runs out in May of 2019. Basically, he’s finishing off Blatter’s fifth and last term. The former president was ousted after Swiss and American criminal investigations were launched against FIFA last May, but he remained in office until being banned a couple of months ago.

There were originally five candidates for the voting to replace Blatter, but Tokyo Sexwale was a late pullout. The balloting went to the second round for just the first time since the 1974 presidential election. At that time, Brazilian Joao Havelange replaced England’s Stanley Rous by winning the second round 68-52. He took the first round 62-56. Infantino has promised FIFA nations more money from future World Cups and said he will soon expand the tournament to 40 teams.

Infantino has a lot of work ahead of him as FIFA’s first new president since 1998 and new rules state that a president can serve no more than three terms of four years. So far, 41 marketing agencies and individuals have pleaded guilty or been indicted relating to various FIFA scandals and Blatter is still being investigated for wrongdoing.

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