Tavecchio re-elected as Italian football president

ROME (AP) " Carlo Tavecchio was re-elected as president of the Italian football federation on Monday, beating Andrea Abodi in a close vote.

Tavecchio won with 54 percent at the end of the third round of voting and will now serve a four-year term.

"We now need to find the same strength with which we were divided to come together," Tavecchio said. "I am emotional, as is normal. I am sure I have done my duty, I said what I could do, the tasks that can be maintained, nothing more."

Tavecchio succeeded Giancarlo Abete three years ago after the latter resigned following Italy's disastrous World Cup campaign in 2014.

The 73-year-old Tavecchio has earned considerable support despite being banned by UEFA for six months following a racist comment during his election campaign in 2014.

He came out on top in all three rounds of voting but didn't have the three-quarters of votes needed to win in the first round, nor the two-thirds needed for the second.

The associations of referees and coaches supported Tavecchio but the players' association gave their support to Abodi.

Abodi was Serie B President for 6 1/2 years before stepping down in order to campaign for the FIGC job.

"My future? Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm playing a five-a-side match," Abodi said. "A huge part of my future is in my hands and another bit in the hands of those who have to evaluate my abilities, maybe not in this system but in another context. Now another life is starting."

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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