The FA welcomes appointment of Aleksander Ceferin at UEFA

Wednesday 14 Sep 2016
Aleksander Ceferin

The FA has welcomed the appointment of Aleksander Ceferin as the new President of UEFA.

An FA delegation led by Chairman Greg Clarke, Chief Executive Martin Glenn and Vice-Chairman David Gill joined 54 other European nations in Athens on Wednesday for the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress. 

The agenda centred on who would replace Michel Platini at the helm of European football’s governing body, with Slovenian FA President Ceferin up against his counterpart from the Netherlands, Michael van Praag. 

The FA had supported Van Praag’s candidacy prior to the Congress, citing the close working relationship between the two countries in recent years, not least in pushing for reform at FIFA. 

However, Clarke reiterated that both men had the necessary credentials to take UEFA forward.

He said: "He'll bring football together, take tough decisions and drive European football forward. It was not a choice between good and bad but between two good candidates.

"We were comfortable with the decision. He gave a good speech, he's held in high esteem and he can count on the support of The FA."

The 48-year-old received 42 votes from UEFA's member associations and follows Ebbe Schwartz (Denmark), Gustav Wiederkehr (Switzerland), Artemio Franchi (Italy), Jacques Georges (France), Lennart Johansson (Sweden) and Michel Platini (France), who have all served as UEFA President since the body was founded in 1954.

One of his first engagements is set to be in London next Wednesday at an event to promote the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2020 tournament, the semi-finals and final of which will be played at Wembley Stadium. 

Upon confirmation of his election, he told the audience that it was a "great honour" to be chosen.

He added: "Thank you for your fantastic support.It is a great honour, but it is at the same time a great responsibility. 

"It means a lot to me, and to my family, who are very proud about it. My small but beautiful Slovenia is also very proud, and I hope that one day, you will also be proud of me."

By Greg Demetriou in Athens