Sports

Feb 272016
 

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The moment Gianni Infantino was named as the new president of Fifa

Gianni Infantino wants to reunite football after becoming president of world football’s governing body Fifa.

The Uefa secretary general succeeds fellow Swiss Sepp Blatter, polling 115 votes, 27 more than closest rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, at Friday’s election.

Blatter quit in May amid allegations that led to a six-year ban from football, which he is contesting.

“I said today we have to build bridges, not build walls,” said the 45-year-old.

“Football can certainly do that. I want to focus on football,” he added.

The resignation of Blatter, who denies any wrongdoing, prompted the extraordinary congress at Fifa, which has been engulfed by claims of widespread corruption since summer 2015.

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‘Betrayal. Corruption. Punching ball. Game over’

Infantino is a lawyer from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland, less than six miles from Blatter’s hometown of Visp.

“Today it was an election, but not a war,” he said. “It was a competition, but not a fight. It was a sporting contest. An election you win, you lose and then life goes on.

“Now we turn the page, we start to work, we work good together and I show the whole world I’m not a candidate of Europe or wherever. I’m a candidate of football and football is universal.

“This is what we’ll start to do now in Fifa to work with everyone for the development of football and not to do politics, to speak about divisions, to speak about barriers.”

The first round of voting failed to determine an outright winner, though Infantino led with 88, three more than pre-vote favourite Sheikh Salman.

A simple majority of more than 50% – 104 of 207 available votes – was sufficient for victory in round two.

To help the new president tackle the crisis at Fifa, key reforms were passed to help make it a more transparent and accountable organisation.

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Hamilton Academical 1-1 Celtic

 Posted by at 5:27 AM
Feb 272016
 

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Highlights: Hamilton 1-1 Celtic

A goal from substitute Eamonn Brophy 17 minutes from the end earned Hamilton a precious point against 10-man Celtic.

A needless foul from Dougie Imrie on Leigh Griffiths brought Celtic a penalty, and the striker stepped up to slot home his 33rd goal of the season.

Dedryck Boyata was sent off for a last-man tackle on Accies’ Carlton Morris five minutes before the break.

Michael McGovern saved a second Griffiths spot-kick, and Brophy’s powerful strike rescued Accies a point.

They move above Motherwell into ninth in the Premiership table, two points above the relegation play-off place currently occupied by Kilmarnock.

Celtic extend their cushion at the top of the table to seven points, but Aberdeen can take advantage of the champions’ slip-up by closing the gap back to four points when they host St Johnstone on Saturday.

Leigh Griffiths took his goals tally for this season to 33.

Hamilton were a world away from January’s humiliating 8-1 thrashing at the hands of the same opponents, and very nearly took the lead through Ali Crawford.

Scott Brown lost out to Morris who put in Crawford though on goal, but he shot over the bar when he really should have scored.

Accies had settled into the game after an dominant opening period from the visitors, but fell behind due to a moment of madness from Imrie.

Griffiths was in possession but in an unthreatening position and only Imrie will know why he sent the Celtic striker crashing just inside the area.

The striker took the penalty himself and fired the ball right down the middle.

It was a crazy moment from Imrie, a point Mikey Devlin was presumably making as he squared up to his team-mate in the wake of incident.

Dedrick Boyata was sent off for a last-man foul on Carlton Morris

But suddenly the game was alight.

Boyata was sent off for a tackle on Morris. He tried to play the Accies striker offside but mistimed his movement and the forward was in on goal.

The lunging challenge ended a clear goalscoring opportunity just outside the box, but the Celtic bench – and their support in a crowd of 5,017 – clearly felt the tackle was legitimate and the defender had touched enough of the ball.

Manager Ronny Delia immediately reshaped his 10 men, replacing the returning Kris Commons with Charlie Mulgrew.

The flames continued to burn in the second half. Gary Mackay-Steven was through one-on-one with McGovern but could not finish, and Griffiths saw a clever effort fly just past the post.

Griffiths saw his second penalty saved by Michael McGovern

Then came another moment of controversy and another penalty. Ziggy Gordon was spotted wrestling with Mikael Lustig at a corner and referee Craig Thomson pointed to the spot.

Again Griffiths stepped up, but this time McGovern produced a fine, diving save to keep the outcome in the balance.

It was a costly miss because minutes later home boss Martin Canning introduced Brophy – criticised by some after celebrating his goal in the recent thumping at Parkhead – and the substitute had the desired effect.

Celtic failed to deal with a corner and when the ball dropped in the box to Brophy he smashed a finish high into the net to ensure honours were even at the end of a pulsating match.

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Feb 272016
 

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The moment Gianni Infantino was named as the new president of Fifa

Gianni Infantino has succeeded fellow Swiss Sepp Blatter as president of world football’s governing body Fifa.

The Uefa secretary general polled 115 votes, 27 more than closest rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein (four votes) and Jerome Champagne (0) were third and fourth respectively.

Blatter, who had led Fifa since 1998, stood down last year and was later suspended from football for six years for breaching ethics guidelines.

Infantino is a 45-year-old lawyer from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland, less than six miles from Blatter’s home town of Visp.

He entered the presidential race when it became clear that Michel Platini, boss of European football’s governing body Uefa, could not stand.

“I will work tirelessly to bring football back to Fifa and Fifa back to football,” he said. “This is what we want to do.”

He added: “I feel a lot of emotion and have not realised yet what has happened today. It is still very fresh and it’s been a long and exciting journey and I probably need some time to chill out and see what has happened.”

The election was due to be fought between five candidates, but South African Tokyo Sexwale withdrew before voting began in Zurich.

The first round of voting failed to determine an outright winner, though Infantino led with 88, three more than pre-vote favourite Sheikh Salman.

A simple majority of more than 50% – 104 of 207 available votes – was sufficient for victory in round two.

Not since 1974, when Joao Havelange of Brazil beat 13-year incumbent Stanley Rous of England, has a second round been needed.

What will Infantino do now?

Infantino joined the presidential race when Uefa boss Michel Platini was barred from taking part

An emotional Infantino told delegates that together they would “restore the image of Fifa and the respect of Fifa”.

He added: “I want to work with all of you together in order to restore and rebuild a new era of Fifa where we can again put football at the centre of the stage.

“Fifa has gone through sad times, moments of crisis, but those times are over. We need to implement the reform and implement good governance and transparency. We also need to have respect.

“We’re going to win back this respect through hard work, commitment and we’re going to make sure we can finally focus on this wonderful game.”

Has he been well received?

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Greg Dyke ‘very pleased’ with Gianni Infantino win

Gary Lineker, an outspoken critic of Fifa and former president Blatter, wished Infantino “all the best” following his appointment.

The former England striker added on Twitter: