Thursday 8 December 2016

FIFA presidential election into second round of voting for first time in 42 years

Matt McGeehan

Published 26/02/2016 | 16:35

FIFA President candidate Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa on the giant screen during the 2016 FIFA Congress, Zurich. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday February 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER FIFA. Photo credit should read: Matt McGeehan/PA Wire.
FIFA President candidate Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa on the giant screen during the 2016 FIFA Congress, Zurich. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday February 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER FIFA. Photo credit should read: Matt McGeehan/PA Wire.

The FIFA presidential election entered a second round of voting for the first time in 42 years after Gianni Infantino secured more votes than favourite Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa at the extraordinary congress in Zurich.

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UEFA general secretary Infantino secured 88 of the 207 votes cast, while Sheikh Salman received 85 votes, Prince Ali bin al Hussein 27 and Jerome Champagne seven. South African Tokyo Sexwale withdrew his candidacy moments prior to the first round of voting.

It was the first time voting for the FIFA presidential election had reached a second round since 1974, when Joao Havelange of Brazil became the first non-European president ahead of England's Sir Stanley Rous.

A two-thirds majority (138 votes) was required to win in the first round, but a simple majority of more than 50 per cent (104 votes) is sufficient for victory in the second round. Infantino required 16 more votes to become the second successive Swiss president after Sepp Blatter.

The candidate with the lowest number of votes drops out after the second and subsequent rounds, meaning there can be a maximum of four rounds. FIFA is voting on its ninth president and first new head since 1998, when Blatter was appointed for the first time.

Blatter was voted in on five occasions, including last May. But he stepped aside days later amid allegations which led to a six-year ban from football-related activity, which he is contesting. His resignation prompted the world governing body's extraordinary congress in the most pivotal period of FIFA's 112-year history.

The successful candidate will serve the remaining term of office for which Blatter was elected last May, meaning there will be a further election in 2019. The quartet were vying for 207 votes from FIFA's member associations (Kuwait and Indonesia are suspended).

Press Association

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