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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA election goes to second voting round with Gianni Infantino leading

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti and Jeremy Schaap weigh in on Gianni Infantino's appointment as the new president of FIFA.
Gianni Infantino wins on the second ballot with 115 of the 207 votes.
ESPN's Jeremy Schaap discusses the new reality of FIFA as Gianni Infantino was elected the next FIFA president.

FIFA's presidential election will go to a second ballot after no candidate earned the required two-thirds majority of votes cast by member associations of world football's governing body in the initial voting process.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino led the first round with 88 votes, followed by Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa with 85, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan with 27, and former FIFA executive Jerome Champagne of France with seven.

Infantino fell 50 votes short of securing election in the first ballot. In the second round of voting, only a simple majority is needed to win the election, and voters are allowed to change their selections.

There are 207 total votes, with Kuwait and Indonesia banned from voting while serving a FIFA suspension, meaning 104 will now be necessary to secure the election. Should a third round of voting be required, the lowest-ranked candidate would drop out.

The winner will succeed Sepp Blatter, who is serving a six-year ban from football. He announced his resignation last June before a corruption scandal engulfed the organisation in May.

FIFA officials count the first round of votes in Friday's presidential election.

South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale had also been running for the presidency but dramatically withdrew from the race right before voting began, ending his address by saying: "It's your problem now."

Infantino only decided to run for president when UEFA president Michel Platini was banned from all football-related activity by FIFA over a two million Swiss franc ($2m, £1.35m) "disloyal payment" made to him by Blatter. 

Platini and Blatter had their initial eight-year suspensions reduced to six by FIFA's Appeals Committee, although both men are expected to take their battle to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Law enforcement agencies from Switzerland and the United States are both conducting large-scale investigations into the systemic corruption of Blatter's tenure.

Earlier on Friday, FIFA members voted in favour of proposed reforms to address issues of governance, accountability, transparency and diversity.

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