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Friday, 26 February 2016 04:00

Gianni Infantino elected Fifa President

Gianni Infantini has been elected as the man to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa president, winning an overall majority in the second round of voting.

The Swiss-Italian edged ahead of favourite Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa in the first ballot but failed to secure the two-thirds of the vote required to secure victory.

Infantino picked up 115 votes, needing just 104, to replace Sepp Blatter at the world football governing body. 

The voting in full:

  • Gianni Infantino - 115 votes
  • Sheikh Salman - 88 votes
  • Prince Ali al-Hussein - 4
  • Jerome Champagne - 0

FIFA election goes to second round 

Gianni Infantino caused a surprise by polling the most votes in round one of voting in Friday's election to succeed Sepp Blatter as Fifa president.

The Uefa secretary general failed to get enough to seal outright victory, claiming 88 of the 207 votes available at an extraordinary congress in Zurich.

Pre-vote favourite Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa won 85.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein was next with 27, followed by Jerome Champagne on seven. Tokyo Sexwale withdrew earlier.

It is the first time voting for the presidential election had reached a second round since 1974, when Joao Havelange of Brazil became the first non-European president ahead of England's Sir Stanley Rous.

Blatter, who led world football's governing body since 1998, stood down last year and was later banned from football for six years.

Analysis

"Infantino's camp has consistently maintained an air of optimism throughout the final days of this election campaign," said BBC Radio 5 live's sports news correspondent Richard Conway.

"They were not surprised at how well he performed in round one.

"What was surprising according to those close to Shaikh Salman is that pledges of support from Asia and Africa failed to materialise for the Bahraini."

What happens now?

To become president after the first round of voting, a candidate needed to secure two-thirds of the available votes, which equated to 138.

In round two, a simple majority is required, which means Infantino needs another 16 votes to become Fifa's ninth president.

"This election is being fought on the floor of the congress hall right now, with supporters of both Shaikh Salman, Gianni Infantino and Prince Ali talking to voterw," added Conway. "We could be in for a long night."

What else has happened?

Before voting began, reforms were passed to help make Fifa a more transparent and accountable organisation.

All salaries will be disclosed, while a limit of four years has been placed on a president's term.

A new council to replace the current executive committee has also been introduced, featuring a female representative from each confederation.

Greg Dyke, who will cast a vote as chairman of the English Football Association, says the reforms are "more important" than the new leader as it will provide an "opportunity for Fifa to start again".

How does voting work?

There are 209 Fifa nations but Kuwait and Indonesia are currently barred from taking part, meaning there are 207 eligible voters.

To become president after the first round of voting, a candidate must secure two-thirds of the available votes. If no candidate achieves that mark, a simple majority is required in the second round.

If there is still no winner, a third round will take place, minus the candidate with the fewest votes in round two.

Fifa says a winner must be declared on Friday because an ice hockey rink is due to be installed at the Hallenstadion venue at midnight.

Source: BBC
Published in Football