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Gianni Infantino becomes new FIFA president and promises to ‘work with all of you to restore a new era’



Gianni Infantino has become FIFA’s ninth president after being elected in Zurich on Friday and has promised to ‘restore a new era’ to world football’s governing body.

The FIFA presidential election on Friday entered a second round of voting for the first time in 42 years after Infantino of Switzerland secured more backing than pre-vote favourite Sheik Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa of Bahrain in the first round, when a two thirds majority was required to win.

A simple majority of more than 50 per cent – 104 votes – was sufficient for victory in the second round.

Former UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino becomes new FIFA president after beating Sheik Salman

Infantino said: ‘FIFA has gone through sad times, moments of crisis, but those times are over’

Sheik Salman bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa of Bahrain finished well behind Infantino with 88 votes

Sheik Salman congratulates Infantino after his extraordinary victory at FIFA congress in Zurich

And Infantino secured 115 votes to Sheik Salman’s 88 to become the second successive Swiss president after Sepp Blatter.

The 45-year-old lawyer is from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland, about six miles from Blatter’s hometown of Visp.

Blatter was first appointed in 1998 and had been voted in five times, including last May, but he stepped aside days later amid allegations which led to a six-year ban from football-related activity, which he is contesting.

His resignation prompted the world governing body’s extraordinary congress in the most pivotal period of FIFA’s 112-year history.

Blatter said after Infantino’s victory that he hopes he ‘has all the qualities to continue my work’.

He also praised his ‘experience, expertise, strategic and diplomatic skills’.

oting for the new FIFA president had to go into a second round after Infantino and Salman failed to secure a two-thirds majority in the first round.

Infantino narrowly edged Salman in the voting with 88 votes to 85 but not enough to win the election outright at the first stage.

Prince Ali received 27 and Jerome Champagne got seven. In the second round of voting they tailed off with Ali receiving four votes and Champagne zero.

World football reacted on social media immediately after the election result was announced.

Former Inter Milan player Javier Zanetti, who was present in Zurich, tweeted a picture of him and Infantino.

The caption read: ‘With Gianni Infantino, new president of FIFA, congratulations!’

Luis Figo, who pulled out of the FIFA presidential race last year, also posted on Twitter. He labelled the election of Infantino as the ‘time for a new era in FIFA’.

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