Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia has been elected as the new UEFA President. He takes over Europe’s football governing body after winning a landslide victory against Michael van Praag of the Netherlands.
Ceferin received 42 votes against van Praag’s 13, confirming his post as the new UEFA President. The elections were held at an Extraordinary Congress in Athens on Wednesday. Here are a few facts about him, as shared by UEFA:
- Term of Office: He is the seventh president to be elected into the position since UEFA was founded in 1954. Ceferin will be holding the remainder of the term left by Michel Platini. The latter has been banned from any football-related activity after being involved in a corruption scandal with former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
- Biography: The 48-year-old Aleksander Ceferin was born in Slovenia on Oct. 13, 1967. He is married and has three children. He took law in the University of Ljubljana and started working at a family firm.
- Football Career: He first got involved in football after his law practice allowed him to represent athletes and sports clubs. In 2005, he formally became part of the legal teams for a local futsal club and an amateur football club called FC Ljubljana.
- Governing Career: Ceferin was elected into the presidency of the Slovenian Football Association in 2011. In the same year, he also became part of the UEFA Legal Committee as second and third vice chairman.
- Reforms: According to BBC, Ceferin plans to prioritize dealing with the new regulations introduced into the UEFA Champions League. The top four domestic leagues have been guaranteed four spots in the competition despite protests from other domestic leagues.
Ceferin’s predecessor Michel Platini spoke in front of the UEFA delegates in Athens. He wishes the organization the best and maintains his innocence against the accusations that he is being investigated for, which include a payment allegedly made to him by Sepp Blatter. “You are going to continue this beautiful mission without me for reasons that I do not wish to come back on,” he said.