Gianni Infantino will run football’s world governing body FIFA for four more years after being elected for a second term as president by acclamation in Paris on Wednesday.
The 49-year-old Swiss-Italian was the only candidate, so his election was never in doubt, and the traditional vote was replaced with a round of applause at FIFA’s 69th Congress.
In his closing speech, an emotional Infantino thanked the delegates from FIFA’s 211 member associations for their support and promised he would “not stand still” but would continue to develop the game and “defend football”.
His priorities would be the creation of more youth competitions, a continued push on women’s football, more investment in technology and the organisation of a “world convention on football development”.
Infantino used his opening speech, however, to list his achievements since taking over at an extraordinary congress in February 2016.
That was when he was given the task of restoring FIFA’s reputation after the corruption scandals of 2015 that brought down his predecessor Sepp Blatter and a generation of football administrators with far higher profiles than his own.
Reflecting on how far FIFA has come in three years and four months, Infantino said: “Today nobody is talking about crisis, nobody is talking about rebuilding from scratch, nobody is talking about corruption.
“We have turned things around. FIFA has gone from being toxic, almost criminal, to what it should be, an organisation that develops and cares about football.”