Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New soccer president: 'You will be proud of FIFA'

Gianni Infantino

Gianni Infantino

ZURICH, Switzerland — Gianni Infantino looked out at the people who rule global soccer, the members of FIFA. Once, twice, he tried to begin his speech, clearly stunned. He had just won the FIFA presidency, perhaps the most powerful position in sports, but seemed to be still sorting out how it had happened.

For months it appeared that soccer's beleaguered governing body might careen from one crisis — widespread corruption allegations and arrests among its leadership — to another. Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, a member of Bahrain's royal family who has faced questions about possible connections to the bloody crackdown of pro-democracy protests in his home country, was considered the favorite to become the next FIFA president in Friday's election.

Instead, Infantino prevailed in an upset, as FIFA's voting members chose him, a Swiss administrator, to follow the suspended Sepp Blatter, once just a Swiss administrator himself, and try to lead global soccer out of its darkest period. Infantino, 45, becomes just the ninth president in FIFA's 111-year history.

Earlier in the day, however, the FIFA members accepted a significant shift, ratifying an extensive package of governance reforms — including term limits for top executives and enhanced independent oversight — before electing Infantino, who will leave his job as secretary general of European soccer's governing body.

The long-derided executive committee — notorious for decades of scandals, bribery and political intrigue — will be replaced by a 36-member FIFA council that must include at least six women.

"A new era has been started as we speak," Infantino said. "You will be proud of FIFA. You will be proud of what FIFA will do for football."

Infantino gained a startling 27 votes from one ballot to the next, including that of U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati.

New soccer president: 'You will be proud of FIFA' 02/26/16 [Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2016 10:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL Week 3: What we learned

    Bucs

    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers

    Outdoors

    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.