FIFA has a new boss.
Soccer’s governing body elected Gianni Infantino as its president to succeed Sepp Blatter, the disgraced chief who was banned for six years for violating the organization’s ethics rules.
“We will restore the image of FIFA,” Infantino said in his first address as president.
Infantino won in the second round of voting, earning 115 votes, defeating Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa (88), and Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein (four votes).
The election of Infantino, who holds Swiss and Italian citizenship, and who runs UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, firmly enshrines soccer’s power in the continent. There had been speculation ahead of the vote that the new FIFA’s chief would be more reflective of soccer’s support base in Asia, the Middle East, or Africa.
Prior to the election, FIFA passed a package at its extraordinary congress, to give the session its official name, meant to overhaul the institution.
The way FIFA is governed will be overhauled: FIFA Council replaces ExCo; standing committees reduced from 26 to 9. pic.twitter.com/6zMm6596uU— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 26, 2016
Key committees to have at least 50% independent members. Plus eligibility checks for all elected officials by independent Review Committee.— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 26, 2016
Separation of power is a crucial part of the reforms. FIFA Council to set strategy, General Secretariat to take everyday business decisions.— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 26, 2016
President & Council members to serve maximum term of 3 x 4 years. Compensation for senior figures to be disclosed. pic.twitter.com/Ltf0hG6VKZ— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 26, 2016
There will be greater participation & diversity in decision-making including a new Football Stakeholder’s Committee. pic.twitter.com/Cl275BZZCQ— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 26, 2016
The changes, which will go into effect in 60 days, appear to address some of the concerns about how FIFA was run—and seem to reflect some of the recommendations made by FIFA’s reform committee in December on ways to overhaul how soccer was governed.