2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress

Last updated

FIFA presidential election, 2016
  2015 26 February 2016 2019  
  Gianni Infantino (cropped).jpg Salman Al-Khalifa.jpg Prince Ali bin Al Hussein.jpg
Candidate Flag of Switzerland.svg Flag of Italy.svg Gianni Infantino Flag of Bahrain.svg Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa Flag of Jordan.svg Prince Ali bin Hussein
Electoral vote
115 / 207
88 / 207
4 / 207

President before election

Flag of Switzerland.svg Sepp Blatter

Next President

Flag of Switzerland.svg Flag of Italy.svg Gianni Infantino

The 2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress was held at the Hallenstadion in Zürich, Switzerland, on 26 February 2016. This special session of the FIFA Congress, called as a result of the 2015 FIFA corruption case, [1] included the passage of a major statutory reforms proposal as well as the election of Gianni Infantino to replace Sepp Blatter as the President of FIFA. [2]

Contents

Background

Amid a major corruption scandal at FIFA, incumbent Sepp Blatter was re-elected to a fifth term as FIFA President during the 65th FIFA Congress on 29 May 2015, defeating Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan. [3] On 2 June, Blatter announced his intent to resign, remaining in office until an extraordinary FIFA Congress convened and elected a new president. [4] An extraordinary congress was set for 26 February 2016 by the FIFA Executive Committee in July, who also announced the deadlines for candidates and other necessary procedures. [5]

Reform package

A "landmark" reform package was overwhelmingly approved during the first part of the session by 179 of 207 members. Among the promised tenants is the dissolution of the Executive Committee, to be replaced by a larger FIFA Council selected by regional confederations, as well as imposed term limits on executive offices such as the presidency. [6]

Presidential election

Candidates

The deadline for candidates to formally present their nominations, with support of at least of five national federations, was 26 October 2015, 23:59 CET (22:59 GMT). [7]

Sepp Blatter was also a likely candidate, despite him saying that "I will not be a candidate for the election in 2016." Blatter previously said that he is "not resigning" before the announcement of the election date. [8]

On 28 October 2015, FIFA announced the names of the seven candidates to replace Sepp Blatter as its president. [9] [10]

List of eligible candidates

On 9 November 2015, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee admitted and declared five candidates eligible to stand for election to the office of FIFA President. [11]

List of excluded candidates

  • Flag of France.svg Michel Platini, UEFA President; announced his bid on 29 July 2015; [17] suspended by FIFA on 8 October 2015; [18] excluded from the presidential race on 21 December 2015 due to corruption and accepting bribes. [19]
  • Flag of Liberia.svg Musa Bility, President of the Liberia Football Association; announced his bid on 26 October 2015; [20] excluded from the presidential race on 12 November 2015 after failing an integrity check. [21]
  • Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg David Nakhid, former Trinidad and Tobago captain; announced his bid on 16 October 2015; [22] excluded from the presidential race on 28 October 2015 for failing to receive the required five declarations of support. [9]

Previously interested in bidding

Results

The FIFA presidential election entered a second round of voting for the first time in 42 years after Gianni Infantino of Switzerland secured more backing than pre-vote favourite Sheik Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa of Bahrain in the first round, when a two-thirds majority was required to win. A simple majority of more than 50 per cent (104 votes) was sufficient for victory in the second round.

2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress
26 February 2016 – Zurich, Switzerland [2]
CandidateRound 1Round 2
Flag of Italy.svg / Flag of Switzerland.svg Gianni Infantino 88115
Flag of Bahrain.svg Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa 8588
Flag of Jordan.svg Prince Ali Al Hussein 274
Flag of France.svg Jérôme Champagne 70
Flag of South Africa.svg Tokyo Sexwale Withdrew

Reactions

The unexpected victory of Infantino over Salman, named a heavy favorite in the lead-up to the election, [34] surprised some observers; [35] a bloc in opposition to Salman is speculated to have tipped the second round vote in Infantino's favor. [36] United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati and other CONCACAF federations played a key role in Infantino's margin of victory, reportedly shifting their vote from Prince Ali to Infantino after a series of conversations between the two rounds of voting. [37]

The second round of voting was the first to be held since 1974. [38]

The day prior to the election, Sepp Blatter gave a press interview in which he said that he was leaving the office "a happy man". [39] Blatter later congratulated Infantino, but warned that he must stay vigilant and that in the job "friends become rare". [40]

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