KEIR RADNEDGE in ZURICH: A significant factor in European federations’ election of Aleksander Ceferin as new president was the simple fact that, as head of the Slovenia FA, he is ‘one of them.’

The value of the 48-year-old’s inside knowledge and common cause with fellow national association leaders was pointed out today in Zurich by Gianni Infantino, the FIFA president and – and until February – general secretary of UEFA.

Infantino, who has imitated Ceferin in denouncing tales of his own undue influence as “imagination and lies”, was reviewing the outcome of UEFA’s extraordinary election congress held in Athens on Wednesday when Dutch KNVB president Michael Van Praag was trounced by 42 votes to 13.


He said: “It was a very convincing success. He has some very good ideas. He is a new face for many but is a competent person who has been president of a national association and I am looking forward very much to working closely with him.

“The associations involved have sent a message that they wanted somebody new, that they wanted one of them – another [federation] president – and this is democracy. It was an important success because also the numbers give him the legitimacy to move forward.”

A return to an administrator-president is a rejection by UEFA of the immediate past in which it was headed by Frenchman Michel Platini. The former superstar had made no secret on many occasions of his belief that football “should be run by former players and not by  administrators.”

** The 2nd World Summit on Ethics and Leadership was organised by the World Forum for Ethics in Business in cooperation with the International Association for Human Values, Marti Communications and TLEX Ltd at FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

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