President of the Slovenia football federation, Aleksander Ceferin, has been elected as the new head of UEFA at an extraordinary Congress on Wednesday.
Ceferin overwhelmingly beat Dutchman Michael van Praag, the only other candidate, by 42 votes to 13.
He succeeds Frenchman Michel Platini, who announced his resignation in May after being banned from football for four years for ethics violations.
“Thank you for your fantastic support. It’s a great honour but at the same time it’s a great responsibility. It means a lot to me. It means and my family is very proud about it. My small and beautiful Slovenia is very proud about it and I hope that one day you will also be proud at me. Thank you very much,” he said after the vote.
Ceferin is not a member of UEFA’s executive committee and was little known outside his own country until he announced his intention to run in June.
Each of UEFA’s 55 member associations had one vote in the election.
Earlier, Michel Platini gave a farewell speech to the congress, an exception that was made for him by FIFA’s ethics committee as a “gesture of humanity.”
Platini told his audience he had a clear conscience and will continue to fight in court.
The extraordinary congress also saw the election of the first woman ever to sit in the FIFA Council.