Michel Platini re-elected President by acclamation

The XXXV Ordinary UEFA Congress re-elected Michel Platini as UEFA President by acclamation, while elections were also held for the UEFA and FIFA Executive Committees.

UEFA President Michel Platini addresses Congress at the Grand Palais in Paris on 22 March 2011
UEFA President Michel Platini addresses Congress at the Grand Palais in Paris on 22 March 2011 ©UEFA.com

The XXXV Ordinary UEFA Congress held on 22 March in Paris, France, re-elected Michel Platini as UEFA President by acclamation for a second four-year term until 2015.

In his opening speech, Michel Platini reviewed the main achievements which have highlighted his first mandate as UEFA President, such as: the rebuilding of a united football family, notably through the creation of the Professional Football Strategy Council; the changes to the access list of the UEFA Champions League and the creation of the UEFA Europa League; the increase of participating nations to 24 teams in the final tournament of the UEFA European Football Championship; the launch of the experiment with two additional assistant referees; and the development of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

He also thanked the UEFA Executive Committee and all member national associations for their continuous support, without which such key achievements would not have been possible.

Michel Platini also outlined some of the priorities for his forthcoming mandate, which will centre on the promotion of national team football; the fight against violence and against fraud linked to betting and match-fixing; the implementation of the financial fair play regulations; the end of institutional discrimination within football; as well as a joint project with FIFA called Investing in the Future of Football which is aimed at promoting youth training and protecting team identities.

The UEFA President then informed delegates that the first element that will form the basis for the promotion of national team football will be the centralised sales of media rights for the qualifying matches of the national team competitions. He added that all 53 UEFA member associations have already signed a mandate for UEFA to implement such centralisation.

On the topic of centralisation, Michel Platini, commented: "I believe in this centralisation project because it is a football project, not a commercial project. It is a project aimed, above all, at protecting and developing national team football. And, what is more, the knock-on effect will be guaranteed revenue for each association."

The UEFA President then announced that the UEFA Executive Committee will from now on invite a woman to participate in its meetings, in order to break the glass ceiling preventing women from reaching positions of responsibility within football organisations.

After this announcement, the UEFA President, said: "This is but a first, symbolic step, but symbols are sometimes key to changing the way we think. Women have a lot to offer to the development of the game and it is a first step towards a better representation in decision-making bodies."

Elections for seven seats on UEFA's Executive Committee for the 2011-15 period also took place and the following members were (re-)elected for four-year terms:

1st ballot (absolute majority – half valid votes plus one) – votes (of 53 cast)

Ángel María Villar Llona – Spain – 47
Şenes Erzik – Turkey – 42
Grygoriy Surkis – Ukraine – 38
Peter Gilliéron – Switzerland – 40 (new)
Borislav Mihailov – Bulgaria – 28 (new)
Sergey Fursenko – Russia – 27 (new)

2nd ballot (simple majority)

Mircea Sandu – Romania –15

The remaining candidates received the following number of votes in the 2nd ballot:

Liutauras Varanavičius – Lithuania – 12
Dr Gilberto Madaíl – Portugal – 10
Ivan Hašek – Czech Republic – 8
François De Keersmacker – Belgium – 5
Grzegorz Lato – Poland – 2
Norman Darmanin Demajo – Malta – 1

In addition, three European members of the FIFA Executive Committee were (re-)elected for the 2011-15 period:

Vice-presidents
Michel Platini – France – automatically elected as UEFA President
Ángel María Villar Llona – Spain – elected by acclamation

Member
Dr Theo Zwanziger – Germany – elected by acclamation (new)

In addition, the Congress delegates were informed that the four British associations have nominated Jim Boyce of Northern Ireland to become a FIFA vice-president in accordance with the FIFA statutes.

Other decisions made during the UEFA Congress included the approval of the 2009/10 financial report and of the 2011/12 budget.

Antonio Matarrese and outgoing UEFA vice-president Dr Joseph Mifsud were made honorary members of UEFA.

After the closure of the XXXV Ordinary UEFA Congress, the UEFA Executive Committee held its first meeting in its new composition and proceeded with the nomination of the five UEFA vice-presidents.

1st UEFA vice-president: Şenes Erzik
2nd UEFA vice-president: Geoffrey Thompson
3rd UEFA vice-president: Ángel María Villar Llona
4th UEFA vice-president: Marios N Lefkaritis
5th UEFA vice-president: Giancarlo Abete