March 27 – Swedish football has a new leader. After tightly contested elections, Frederik Reinfeldt (pictured) will succeed Karl-Erik Nilsson as the president of the Swedish FA (SvFF). He defeated Lars-Christer Olsson for the presidency by over 30 votes.
Reinfeldt, 57, a former prime minister of Sweden, garnered support from Skåne, Västergötland and Stockholm while Gothenburg and Småland backed Olsson, once the general secretary of UEFA and predecessor of Gianni Infantino.
The different regional associations hold the majority of the votes in the elections. With 18 votes, Stockholm voted for Reinfeldt and their support proved to be decisive. Both AIK and Hammarby, powerful clubs in the capital, protested against Stockholm’s decision to back Reinfeldt.
Coy about his programme, Reinfeldt was seen as the candidate of change and he will have to appoint a new general secretary as well as overcome scepticism among fans. VAR as well as the distribution of revenue from betting ads are key issues Swedish football is working through.
Reinfeldt served as the country’s prime minister from 2006 to 2014 and understands how to play the political game. His first major meeting will be the UEFGA Congress in Lisbon on April 5, where Sweden is expected to back Lise Klaveness for a seat on the executive committee.
The first vice-president of UEFA, Nilsson had been in power at the SvFF since 2012. Under him, the organisation grew to the point where it became unwieldy. At the same time, the national team reached the last eight of the World Cup in 2018.
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