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UEFA elects Aleksander Ceferin as new president ahead of Michael van Praag

Aleksander Ceferin has been confirmed as the new president of UEFA after beating fellow candidate Michael van Praag in Wednesday’s election.

The head of the Slovenian Football Association was the overwhelming favourite to replace disgraced former president Michel Platini during the vote at UEFA’s Congress in Athens.

And the 48-year-old received 42 votes from the 55 UEFA members to easily claim the required simple majority of 28.

“Dear friends, thank for your fantastic support. It’s a great honour but at the same time great responsibility,” Ceferin said on stage following his victory.

“It means a lot to me, it means me and my family are very proud. My small and beautiful Slovenia is also very proud about it. Thank you very much.”

The position of president became available when Platini resigned his position in May after failing to overturn a ban from all football-related activity with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Platini’s suspension, which was lowered to four years from six, was in relation to a $2million (£1.3m) disloyal payment from former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter in 2011.

The Frenchman denies any wrongdoing and, during a farewell address to the Congress, vowed to continue his legal fight.

Speaking to ESPN earlier this week, Ceferin outlined that his key aims as president are to battle match-fixing and to change the bidding process for the Champions League, European Championship and other major events.

Ceferin will now take on the remainder of Platini’s term of office until 2019.

The Slovenian is also likely to enter negotiations on the Champions League, with many objecting to the news that England, Germany Italy and Spain will have four guaranteed spots in Europe’s premier competition from the 2018-19 campaign.

ajike

Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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