Ce­ferin elected UEFA pres­i­dent

World Soccer - - The World -

Slove­nia’s Alek­sander Ce­ferin promised a “wind of change” within UEFA af­ter be­ing elected as pres­i­dent of Euro­pean football’s gov­ern­ing body, re­plac­ing Michel Pla­tini, who was al­lowed to ad­dress the ex­tra­or­di­nary elec­tion congress in Athens de­spite be­ing banned from football.

Ce­ferin, a crim­i­nal lawyer who has been the head of the Slove­nian FA since 2011, scored a de­ci­sive 42-13 votes vic­tory over Dutch­man Michael Van Praag.

Ce­ferin is the sev­enth pres­i­dent in UEFA’s 62 years and the first from east­ern Europe. His man­i­festo theme had been pitched at medi­um­size and small na­tions – the vast ma­jor­ity of UEFA – and he re­sponded di­rectly to ac­cu­sa­tions that he lacked ex­pe­ri­ence by say­ing: “Well, I’m al­most 50 and have been chair­ing my own com­pany and the football as­so­ci­a­tion of Slove­nia for years now.

“You can say I am young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced, but I think that’s dis­re­spect­ful to all the pres­i­dents of small and medium-sized fed­er­a­tions who, 365 days of the year, have to do more with less.

“Pres­i­dents of th­ese fed­er­a­tions have to be cre­ative, strong and in­spir­ing and, be­lieve me, we have ex­pe­ri­ence.

“To­day the wind of change is blow­ing through Euro­pean football. It’s the end of one era and start of a new one – an era which marks the end of some privileges from an­other time.”

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