STA, 7 February 2019 - Slovenian lawyer Aleksander Čeferin was unanimously re-elected to head UEFA as the European football's governing body met for a congress in Rome on Thursday. Čeferin, the only candidate for the post, was elected for a four-year term.
The 51-year-old has led the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since September 2016, when following corruption scandals, it was looking for a clean slate to regain its reputation.
While relatively unknown in football circles when bidding for the office in 2016, Čeferin has grown to be a respected football official.
Pundits says he has managed to steer among different interests during his first term, which has earned him the reputation of a good leader.
In his address to the congress, Čeferin outlined the achievements from the past two and a half years and pointed to major challenges ahead.
Looking back, he said "a crisis often brings an opportunity for new successes", stressing UEFA was united again and financially more successful than any time before.
UEFA's revenue will reach a record 5.7 billion euro in the coming financial year, an annual increase of 25%, yet achievements should not lull it into inactivity.
"In the fast-changing world we need to constantly adapt, in no way can current achievements be an excuse not to take effective measures for the challenges ahead."
He said the main challenges were the development of competition formates where club football and national football should be seen as opponents, women's football, and a constructive cooperation with FIFA on the development of global football which will be aligned with the interests of European football.
Here Čeferin reiterated that cooperation with FIFA should be based on open dialogue.
While FIFA is pushing for a Global Nations' League and an expanded Club World Cup, UEFA is opposed to these ideas.
He also stressed that Europe would like to host the World Cup in 2030. "With our unity, we'll try to do all in our power for the 2030 World Cup to be held in Europe."
Since Čeferin had no rival at the Rome congress, the delegates from 55 national football associations did not vote on his candidacy, but appointed him by acclamation.
"Thank you for your trust. I'm moved and proud," Čeferin said after the re-election.