UEFA’s Gianni Infantino was the surprise leader after the first round of voting in FIFA’s presidential election in Zurich on Friday.
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The Swiss official — known by most as the man who conducts the draw for the UEFA Champions League — only stepped in to become UEFA’s representative relatively late on, after UEFA’s former candidate and current president Michel Platini was handed a six-year ban from FIFA.
After the votes were counted from the 207 member nations eligible to vote in the first round Infantino came out on top with 88 votes, surprisingly finishing above Sheikh Salman of Bahrain who received 85 votes. Prince Ali of Jordan gained 27 votes, while Jerome Champagne received seven.
Only four candidates were in the vote after Tokyo Sexwale had announced earlier on Friday that he was withdrawing his candidacy.
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138 votes are needed by one individual in the first round to be elected as FIFA president, but in the second round only a majority is needed with 104 the magic number.
If no candidates reaches 104 votes then the lowest ranking candidate drops out and the vote goes to a third round.