Čeferin To Return As UEFA President

Aleksander Čeferin is set to be re-elected as UEFA President after European football’s governing body confirmed he was the only candidate for the position when the deadline for candidates to enter the race fell yesterday.

Čeferin will secure a first full term as head of the organisation at UEFA’s Congress in Rome on February 7.

The Slovenian lawyer, first elected at an Extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens in 2016 and who finished the term started by Frenchman Michel Platini, was not expected to face a challenge as no possible contenders had emerged.

UEFA also confirmed there were two candidates for the FIFA vice-president position reserved for the four British associations as English Football Association chairman Greg Clarke will go up against Northern Irish counterpart David Martin.

The role is being vacated by David Gill, the former chief executive of Manchester United.

German Football Association head Reinhard Grindel also stands unopposed for re-election to a four-year term as a FIFA Council member.

Portugal’s Fernando Gomes and Cypriot Georgios Koumas are the two officials in the running to serve two-year terms.

Čeferin took on the remainder of Platini’s four-year term after the Frenchman was banned from football for a disloyal payment scandal involving former FIFA President Sepp Blatter following his election victory over Dutchman Michael van Praag.

Since he took charge as UEFA President, the 51-year-old has repeatedly clashed with Gianni Infantino over the FIFA President’s plans to revamp the Club World Cup and develop a new Nations League.

FIFA were forced to put the proposals on hold following a fractious Council meeting in Kigali last month, where Čeferin and the other European representatives on the ruling body threatened to walk out if they were put to a vote.

Čeferin is thought to have led the charge of opposition from UEFA at the meeting.

He had previously described the changes as “highly cynical” and said world football’s governing body were guilty of “ruthless mercantilism”.

Infantino was formerly the general secretary of UEFA, football’s richest Confederation, before his elevation to the top job at FIFA in February 2016.