Switzerland: Infantino wants to rebuild FIFA, bring back football to centre stage

Zurich, Switzerland (PANA) - The newly-elected president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, has said he wants to work with everybody to rebuild the world football governing body and bring back football to the centre stage.

"I want to work with all of you together in order to restore and rebuild a new era in FIFA, a new era where we can again put football at the centre of the stage," he said shortly after the results were announced.

He noted the crisis that FIFA had passed through but said those moments were over, adding that there was the need "to implement reforms and implement good governance and transparency".

He pledged to work to win back the respect for FIFA.

Infantino, 45, a Swiss, was elected on Friday during the second round of voting at the FIFA Congress in Zurich.

He will replace Joseph Sepp Blatter.

There were three other candidates - Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Jerome Champagne and Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa. Tokyo Sexwale of South Africa pulled out just before voting began.

In the second round, Infantino polled 115 votes, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa had 88 votes, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein had 4 votes and Jerome Champagne had 0 votes. In the second round of voting, the winner needed to poll 104 votes.

During the first round, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein polled 27 votes, Gianni Infantino polled 88, Jerome Champagne had 7 and Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa had 85.

Earlier in the day, member associations of FIFA approved a package of landmark reforms that pave the way for significant improvements to the governance of global football, including a clear separation of commercial and political decision-making, greater scrutiny of senior officials, and commitments to promoting women in football and human rights.

The reforms were supported by 179 of the 207 member associations present and eligible to vote at the Extraordinary Congress in Zurich, according to a statement on the FIFA website.

The statement said the reforms were based on proposals made by the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee and the subsequent recommendations put before the Congress by the Executive Committee in the form of draft FIFA Statutes.

They represent an essential step towards the modernisation of FIFA’s institutional culture in key areas such as the clear separation of political and management functions, term limits, the disclosure of individual compensation, greater recognition and promotion of women in football and a commitment to enshrining human rights in the FIFA Statutes.

Furthermore, they include statutory principles of good governance for member associations and confederations, such as compulsory annual independent audit reports as well as independent judicial bodies to ensure a separation of powers on all levels of football structures.

“We stand united in our determination to put things right, so that the focus can return to football once again,” said Acting FIFA President Issa Hayatou. “The hard work of restoring trust and improving how we work begins now.

“This will create a system of stronger governance and greater diversity that will give football a strong foundation on which to thrive. It will help to restore trust in our organisation. And it will deter future wrongdoing.”

The main aspects of the approved reforms have been incorporated into an amended version of the FIFA Statutes.

The statement said, in accordance with art. 29 of the current edition of the FIFA Statutes, the statutory amendments passed on Friday will come into effect for the members 60 days after the close of the Congress.
-0- PANA MA/AR 26Feb2016

26 february 2016 18:14:00

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