Slovenian Football Association head Aleksander Ceferin has been elected the new president of UEFA at its extraordinary Congress on Wednesday. The 48-year-old won a resounding number of votes, 42, to beat Holland's Michael van Praag, who got only 13. Ceferin will replace Michael Platini, who was slapped with a four-year ban from all football-related activity for receiving "disloyal payments" worth two million Swiss francs.
Ceferin becomes the seventh UEFA president in 62 years and will now complete Platini's term, which is due to end in 2019. Addressing the European football governing body's Congress in Athens, the 48-year-old Ceferin said, "Dear friends, thank you for your fantastic support. It is a great honour but at the same time a great responsibility. It means a lot to me. My family is very proud about it. My small and beautiful Slovenia is also proud about it. I hope one day you will also be proud of me. Thank you very much."
Ceferin's first tryst with football came to light in 2005, working with the executive board of KMN Svea Lesna Litija, a futsal giant of Slovenia. In 2011, Ceferin, a former lawyer, was made the Slovenian FA president. Earlier in the day, Platini had pleaded innocence in the Congress defiantly, stating that his conscience is clear over the allegations levied against him.
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