Aleksander Ceferin elected new Uefa president to succeed disgraced Michel Platini
Sep 21 2016 by Desiree Burns
Aleksander Ceferin has been named as the successor of Michel Platini at UEFA, the European football governing body said on Wednesday.
Ceferin, a 48-year-old lawyer, nearly unheard of outside his own country at the start of the campaign, beat his Dutch rival Michael van Praag by 42 votes to 13, with no abstentions. He received a total of 42 votes from the 55 UEFA members to easily claim the required simple majority of 28.
Ceferin was appointed president of the Slovenian Football Association in 2011 and has a background in law.
"Some people may have said that I am not a leader, that I am too young and too inexperienced to become the next UEFA president", said Ceferin. My small and handsome Slovenia is very proud of it, and I hope that one day you will also be proud of me', he said as takes on the remainder of Michel Platini's term of office, until 2019.
Ceferin vowed to lead UEFA into an era of "stability, hope, balance and friendship", adding that he was "a team player - I am not a showman".
Disgraced former UEFA president Michel Platini insists he has done nothing wrong and says his conscience is clear, while giving a farewell speech to European soccer's governing body at its extraordinary Congress.
"The most important thing is to give that leadership back to UEFA that clearly we have not had since Michel Platini had to step down previous year", UEFA vice-president David Gill said.
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Following his victory, Ceferin thanked the members for their support before admitting that with great honours come great responsibilities.
"You are going to continue this wonderful mission without me", Platini said.
He said: "He'll bring football together, take tough decisions and drive European football forward".
Van Praag had called for a new look at the extra places offered to the major football nations. "I don't want to live in an empire of fear where every day we wake and see another negativity surfacing".
Platini, whose initial six-year suspension was reduced to four, was granted permission to address UEFA's Congress in Athens on Wednesday in a farewell speech.
"You are going to continue this handsome mission without me, for reasons that I do not wish to come back on".
Platini told his audience he had a clear conscience and will continue to fight in court.