Aleksander Ceferin elected new UEFA president
14.09.2016By Stine Alvad
At an extraordinary congress held in Athens, Greece, today, UEFA member countries elected their new president.
Slovenian lawyer and head of the Slovenian Football Federation, Aleksander Ceferin, won the election by securing 42 votes of the 55 cast. A simple majority of 28 was needed to win. The only other candidate, the Dutch Michael van Praag, got 13 of the votes.
“It’s a great honor and a great responsibility,” Ceferin said thanking the delegates for their trust. “I hope that one day you will also be proud of me.”
Ahead of the voting process Ceferin had assured the delegates that he was “not a man of unrealistic promises”, but that he wanted to tackle all the problems that currently surround the game.
“I am tired of the current situations and look forward to a normalisation period that will be about positive things. About friendship. About football. I’m here to find ways to tackle all the problems that is surrounding our game. (…) Today, the wind of change is blowing through European football. Its the end of an era and the start of a new one. An era of stability, hope, balance and football,” Ceferin said.
Ceferin is elected for a period of two and a half years.
In the days leading up to the congress, the election was hit by claims that Ceferin had received support from the Nordic countries in return for promises of hosting rights and top post. Ceferin as well as the Nordic federations have denied the allegations.
Loosing candidate van Praag thanked the delegates for an open campaign and called on the countries that had supported him in his campaign to join him in supporting Ceferin.
“Democracy has spoken. I respect that,” he said.
Also speaking at the congress was Michel Platini, the former UEFA president currently serving a four-year ban from football over a controversial payment, who had been granted permission by FIFA’s ethics committee to give a talk to the UEFA delegates.
“Be assured that I have a clear conscience, that I’m convinced I did not make the slightest mistake and that I’m continuing the legal battle,” Platini told the UEFA members.