Michel Platini has been re-elected UEFA president after the UEFA Congress gave him a second four-year term leading the European football’s governing body.
Platini defeated Swedish incumbent Lennart Johansson for the post in 2007, but this time he stood unopposed.
“I thought I was young enough not to have emotions, but it’s not possible,” said Platini, his voice breaking. “The difference this time, is I had a feeling I would win.”
Platini’s achievements in his first term in office include opening up UEFA’s European Championship and Champions League competitions to more mid-ranking teams.
Euro 2016, which was awarded to France last year, will feature 24 countries instead of 16.
Platini also restructured the Champions League qualifying rounds to ensure more teams from smaller countries would reach the group stages.
“I hope I have shown you my ability to assume these responsibilities,” Platini said in an earlier speech to delegates. “All the while keeping UEFA’s good name where it belongs, close to my heart.”
Platini has also driven “financial fair play” rules to curb clubs’ spending. He has described it as “cheating” if clubs spend beyond their means.
“This project should enable us to prevent some of our most time-honored clubs from going under because of risky management by an irresponsible few,” he told delegates.
Platini outlined his plans through 2015, when the former France captain is expected to stand for the FIFA presidency.
He pledged to step up efforts tackling the “scourges” of violence in stadiums and match-fixing.
The “heart of our action would be raising the status of national team football, fully implementing financial fair play, combating violence and betting fraud and putting an end to institutional discrimination,” he said.