Gianni Infantino has succeeded fellow Swiss Sepp Blatter as president of world football’s governing body FIFA. The Uefa secretary general polled 115 votes, 27 more than closest rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa. Prince Ali bin al-Hussein (4 votes) and Jerome Champagne (0) were third and fourth respectively. Blatter, who had led FIFA since 1998, stood down last year and was later banned from football for six years for breaching ethics guidelines. Infantino is a 45-year-old lawyer from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland, less than six miles from Blatter’s hometown of Visp. He only entered the presidential race when it became clear that Michael Platini, boss of European football’s governing body UEFA, would not be allowed to stand.
Acting FIFA President Issa Hayatou has announced the first-round results:
Gianni Infantino – 88 votes
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa – 85 votes
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein – 27 votes
Jerome Champagne – 7 votes
Tokyo Sexwale dropped from the race after his speech. Second round of voting will soon commence. Now only a simple majority of 104 votesis required to win the race. Gianni Infantino claimed 88 in the first round and Sheikh Salman 85 so their camps will now be busy lobbying in an attempt to swell their support while the vote is set up. If neither man claims a majority in the second voting, then a third round of voting will hold with the candidate with the fewest votes dropping out..
FIFA has passed a package of reforms at an extraordinary congress in Zurich. They include the disclosure of salaries and a four-year limit on a president’s term as football’s world governing body seeks to recover from a corruption crisis. A new council will replace the current executive committee, featuring a female representative from each confederation. Later on Friday FIFA will elect a new president to replace Sepp Blatter, who held the position since 1998. The five candidates are Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Gianni Infantino, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne. The election process is expected to begin at 1 pm Nigerian time, but several rounds of voting may be required before a winner is known. “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. And it will deter future wrongdoing.”
Sunday Oliseh has resigned as coach of Nigeria citing contract violations, unpaid wages and lack of support. Oliseh has only been on the job for eight months. The 41-year-old’s decision to quit comes just ahead of next month’s crucial 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against group leaders Egypt. “Your contractual violations and the interest of the nation necessitates that I tender my resignation,” he wrote to the Nigeria Football Federation. “Since so little help is being rendered me in getting the players to give their best and very vital conditions and advantages to the team play are also being sacrificed coupled with non-redress of the aforementioned despite my several e-mails and others, seeking your aid to effectively carry out my duties were ignored. “These unconducive working conditions that my coaching crew and myself have to live with, your contractual violations and the interest of the nation necessitates that I tender my resignation and recourse to the termination of our working agreement,” The NFF technical director Shaibu Amodu, who has managed the national team on four occasions, is widely expected to take charge of the team on temporary basis.