Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia has been elected as the new president of UEFA, European football’s governing body. Ceferin is to complete the term of banned former President Michel Platini.
The 48-year-ol d Ceferin easily won Wednesday’s UEFA presidential election, taking 42 of the 55 votes. His only competitor, Michael van Praag, 68, took just 13.
Shortly after the result of the vote was announced, Ceferin told the delegates at the extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens that he and was proud to be the new UEFA president.
Van Praag stressed that the two men were competitors but not enemies and called on all of UEFA’s national associations to throw their support behind Ceferin, who will complete Michel Platini’s third four-year term, which expires in March 2019.
Earlier, Platini who was granted special permission by FIFA to address the Congress, insisted that he had done nothing wrong.
“You are going to continue this wonderful mission without me,” Platini said.
“I have a clear conscience, I have not made mistakes and will continue my fight in court.”
The 61-year-old Platini stepped down as UEFA president in May after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected his appeal against his six-year ban from all football-related activities, handed down by FIFA last December. However, the CAS did reduce his ban to four years.
FIFA banned Platini over a disloyal payment of some 2 million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros, $2 million), which he received from then-FIFA President Joseph Blatter in 2011 for consulting work done a decade earlier.