Gianni Infantino has been elected as the new FIFA president. The Swiss-born administrator had been UEFA general secretary since 2009, though will now take up the most senior position in world football's governing body. He won Friday's election in which delegates from all 209 of FIFA's member states participated, at an "extraordinary congress" called after the resignation of his disgraced predecessor Sepp Blatter.
The news does not come as a great surprise, with Infantino having been one of the two front runners before the election. The other was Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, whose bid for the presidency was hit by a string of allegations including complicity in human rights abuses and appropriation of development project funds.
Infantino received the highest number of votes in first round of voting, gaining 88 votes to Salman's 85. However, a two-thirds majority is needed to win in the first round of voting, which neither came close to achieving as Prince Ali bin Hussein got 27 votes, while Jerome Champagne received seven. The vote went to a second round, where only a majority is needed to win. At that point, a number of Ali and Champagne votes shifted to Infantino, who won 115 votes to become FIFA president.
Infantino has been elected having promised to clean up FIFA's act, and has declared that "reforms need to be implemented". He was quoted by the BBC on Tuesday as saying: "If we don't do something now about it, to restore the image of FIFA and the reputation of FIFA -- and to increase the development of football in the world -- then I see no future for FIFA." Infantino has also supported World Cups hosted by multiple countries at once, and wants the men's World Cup to expand to 40 teams for the 2026 edition of the tournament.