As it happenedended1456510498

Fifa election - as it happened: Gianni Infantino elected Fifa president

Swiss-Italian wins the race to be the most powerful man in world football

Samuel Stevens
Friday 26 February 2016 11:38
The new Fifa President, Gianni Infantino
The new Fifa President, Gianni Infantino

Here are the latest updates

Follow all the latest from Zurich with our live blog below...

Please allow a moment for the live blog below.

With Fifa set to elect a new leader to herald a brave new era, it remains to be seen if any of the presidential candidates running can offer the change craved so keenly by the masses beyond the corridors of their exhibitionistic Zurich home.

Each candidate will make a 15-minute long speech before the voting process begins. The first vote is expected to take place at 1.30pm.

If no candidate earns a two-thirds majority, a second vote will be held. Further votes will be held until the congress decides upon a majority winner.

Bahrain's Sheikh Salman, Gianni Infantino, Prince Ali of Jordan and Jerome Champagne in contention. Tokyo Sexwale dropped out this afternoon with little suggestion he would recieve enough backing to challenge.

Before the election in the summer of 2015, arrests were made at the request of the United States Department of Justice. Many remain under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in co-ordination with Swiss authorities, over corruption allegedly involving more than $150m (£98m) worth of bribes dating back 24 years.

On Wednesday, Blatter and former Uefa counterpart Michel Platini saw their appeals against eight-year bans, for a "disloyal payment" of £1.3m between the pair, rejected but their suspensions were reduced from eight to six years by Fifa's appeals committee.


Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's Fifa Extraordinary Congress and presidential election.

The race to be the most powerful man in world football will be decided today. 

Bahrain's Sheikh Salman, Gianni Infantino, Prince Ali of Jordan, Jerome Champagne and Tokyo Sexwale are all in contention.

Mark Critchley26 February 2016 11:17
Mark Critchley26 February 2016 11:17
Samuel Stevens26 February 2016 11:21

Today may be dominated by the results of this afternoon's Fifa presidential election but the world football governing body's priority is arguably the reforms proposals which have just been passed in Zurich. 

Fifa's very existence was called into question after arrests were made at the request of the United States Department of Justice last summer. Many remain under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in co-ordination with Swiss authorities, over corruption allegedly involving more than $150m (£98m) worth of bribes dating back 24 years. 201 of the eligible 207 countries elected to vote (Indonesia and Kuwait are suspended) with 179 in favour of the reforms which aim to improve accountability, transparency, diversity and governance matters including term times of elected officials. 

Chiefly among the accepted reforms package is the decision to set fixed terms for officials while the benchmark has been set for full disclosure of the payment structure at Fifa. The executive committee will also undergo a transformation of sorts with it expected to now be replaced by a 36 member council designed to set global policies and include at least six female representatives.

Samuel Stevens26 February 2016 11:37
Samuel Stevens26 February 2016 11:39

Who are the candidates?

Gianni Infantino, 45, Italian/Swiss

Uefa general secretary, joined in 2000 as a lawyer

“Fundamental reforms must be at the heart of Fifa to ensure that it regains the trust of both the football world and the wider public. These reforms need to be structural but also cultural in nature. In this respect, Fifa must demonstrate that it has the strength and determination to reform itself into a modern, well governed, institution which is a worthy leader for the world’s number one sport.”

Headline policy: Expanding the World Cup to upwards of 40 nations, ensuring less reputable football countries are represented.

Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa, 50, Bahraini

Asian Football Confederation president and Fifa vice-president

“My track record demonstrates that I can be relied upon to serve associations and the global football community with distinction and to lead Fifa through this critical transition. Starting out as a player, I then worked my way up through the ranks of the Bahrain Football Association to become president. Consequently, I fully understand the daily realities and difficulties faced by associations, clubs and players in everyday football.”

Headline policy: Splitting Fifa into two entities, one for commercial practises and another for footballing operations. 

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, 40, Jordanian

President of Jordan Football Association and founder and president of the West Asian Football Federation, former Fifa vice-president

“I know well the challenges faced every day to develop football in countries around the world. I also know Fifa well from the inside, having served as Fifa vice-president and as a member of both the Fifa executive committee and the AFC executive committee for the past four years. Most importantly, I am a straight-forward person with straight-forward ideas and ethics — a person who loves our sport. I believe in uncompromising integrity. In good leadership. In fair play. In a service oriented approach. And in hard work.”

Headline policy: Total development of football around the world, quadrupling the amount of money member associations receive to increase sustainability.

Jerome Champagne, 57, French

Consultant in international football, a former diplomat who worked at Fifa as an executive and advisor to Sepp Blatter for 11 years

“In my view, and as I've written and said many times, we must continue and further improve what has been done well under the mandates of presidents [Joao] Havelange and [Sepp] Blatter: implement development programs, organize Fifa competitions on every continent, and take the correct sports policy decisions (e.g. the exclusion of South Africa because of apartheid in 1976). But we must do more. We must do better. Above all, we must do it differently.”

Headline policy: Strengthening the role of national associations, involving leagues, clubs and players in the decision-making process.

Tokyo Sexwale, 62, South African

Mining businessman, anti-apartheid campaigner and ex-member of the Fifa anti-discrimination task force

“All this occurs in the midst of unprecedented action by law enforcement agencies against several leaders of FIfa. As a presidential candidate, I fully understand that these are difficult times for Fifa, which demands extraordinary and resolute leadership. These events, do not mean the death knell of football, the biggest sport in the world played since time immemorial and still to be played for many generations to come.”

Headline policy: Growing and developing football worldwide, enhancing all nations not just the recognised 'bigger' countries. 

Samuel Stevens26 February 2016 11:45

Good luck today for the #FIFA presidential elections to my friend, Prince Ali! #Change#FIFAelection

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Samuel Stevens26 February 2016 11:48

Prince Ali al-Hussein has just addressed the Fifa extraordinary congress delivering his final pitch to be the new president of the world football governing body. We'll have a summary of what he has to say shortly...

Samuel Stevens26 February 2016 11:54
Samuel Stevens26 February 2016 11:55

Prince Ali speaks

Prince Ali bin al Hussein has used his fifteen minutes to outline his vision for the future of Fifa in the wake of Sepp Blatter's tumultuous reign as president. The Jordanian has committed himself to ensuring the body is free from corruption and committed to development across the entire world.

Today you can reclaim your Fifa, and prove to the world that we are the guardians of the game. The reforms are a step in the right direction and we must press ahead together in an inclusive way.

A change in culture means embracing shared values of openness, transparency, non-discrimination, against racism. A Fifa free of corruption and committed to football development across the globe. Together we can restore FIfa’s reputation, credibility and legitimacy. The new Fifa is your Ffa.

I am one of you. We can make history by electing a president directly from a member association. As Fifa president I will represent all nations.

Samuel Stevens26 February 2016 12:00

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