Gianni Infantino Elected New FIFA President

New FIFA president Gianni Infantino reacts after winning the FIFA presidential election during the extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich on February 26, 2016
AFP

FIFA’s Extraordinary Congress elected Gianni Infantino the group’s new president on Friday.

The Swiss-born Italian serves the remainder of the term FIFA’s members elected Sepp Blatter, also born in Switzerland, to last year. The new president’s term expires in 2019. The election took place in Zurich, site of FIFA’s headquarters.

The bald-headed 45-year-old won on the second ballot, capturing 115 of 207 total votes.

Infantino enjoyed a three-vote lead over Sheik Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa on the first ballot. But the Bahrain-based football administrator added only three votes to his total as the supporters of the also-rans flocked to Infantino.

Infantino faces mountainous tasks. Apart from the corruption scandal that ended the career of his predecessor and resulted in indictments for more than a dozen FIFA-affiliated individuals, the organization looks ahead to controversial World Cups in Russia and Qatar and seeks to answer complaints of sexism from women compeitors, who played their most recent World Cup on artificial turf.

Earlier in the day, delegates voted for a series of reforms addressing a variety of problems plaguing the organization. The reform package included term limits and transparency in compensation. But it also featured an affirmative action-type program promoting women in soccer and a vow to embrace human rights within FIFA. Delegates voted for these measures by almost a 9-1 margin.

.