FIFA elected on Friday Gianni Infantino to replace disgraced president Sepp Blatter in an unexpected turn of events. UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino defeated expected frontrunner Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, former FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan and former FIFA executive Jerome Champagne.
South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale pulled out of the race after delivering a 15-minute speech to the FIFA Congress preceding the vote.
Infantino led all candidates with 88 votes after the one round of voting causing a look of shock and surprise to overcome Sheikh Salman who garnered 85. Since neither frontrunner reached the required 138 votes to win in the first round, the process was restarted with a new required total of 104.
Despite Prince Ali and Champagne only garnering 27 and seven votes respectively, both contenders opted to stay in the race for the second round.
Although Infantino was regarded as one of the frontrunners along with Sheikh Salman, he was not expected to be leading after the first round. Infantino expanded his lead in the second round, earning 115 votes to win the presidency. Sheikh Salman only earned three more votes in the second round to bring his total to 88.
Prior to the election, FIFA's member associations approved a sweeping range of reforms by a vote of 179 to 22. The reforms are aimed at cleaning up an organization that has been plagued by corruption over the years.