Gianni Infantino was elected FIFA’s new president on Friday, taking over from the disgraced Sepp Blatter and with the mission to rebuild world football’s scandal tainted governing body.

Infantino, general secretary of European confederation UEFA, won in the second round of voting by 207 FIFA member associations at a congress in Zurich.

The 45-year-old Swiss-Italian took 115 votes, beating out his closest rival, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the president of the Asian football federation, who claimed 88 votes in the second round, where only a simple majority of support was required.  

“We will restore the image of FIFA and the respect of FIFA and everyone in the world will applaud us,” said Infantino, formerly general secretary of European confederation UEFA.

Sheikh Salman, a member of the Bahrain royal family, was one of the first to congratulate his rival.Having got 27 votes in the first round of the election, Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan got just four in the second. 

Former FIFA official Jerome Champagne had seven votes in the first round but zero in the deciding ballot.

South African tycoon Tokyo Sexwale withdrew from the contest before the first round. – Agence France-Presse

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