By John Smith • 27 February 2016 • 8:22
Michel Platini and Gianni Infantino in 2015
IT HAS been a long time coming but following many scandals, the election of UEFA secretary general, the Swiss Gianni Infantino as successor to disgraced fellow Swiss, Sepp Blatter will mean that FIFA can return to governing the world of football rather than the world of banking.
He was a relatively late entrant to the race once it became clear that former heir to the throne Michel Platini was going to have to withdraw his candidacy following his ban from office alongside Blatter but he was by no means the favourite for the post.
In the end, there was no outright winner following a first vote, but after a second round, he gained 115 votes, 27 more than original favourite, the President of the Asian Football Confederation and member of the Bahrain royal family Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa.
Prior to the election, the former president who lives less than 10 miles away from Mr Infantino said that he had been approached for advice on who to vote for by many delegates and let drop the fact that he had recently shared a drink with one of the candidates in his home town.
In accepting his new position, the 45-year-old former lawyer said “I will work tirelessly to bring football back to FIFA and FIFA back to football.”
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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