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|8 June 1998 2002 →|
The 51st FIFA Congress was held between June 6–8, 1998, at the Equinox congress hall in Paris, France, just before the start of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It was the last biannual meeting of the international governing body of association football FIFA, since 1998 the congress has been held on an annual basis. The congress saw the election of Joseph "Sepp" Blatter as the 8th President of FIFA who succeeded João Havelange. Havelange had held the presidency since 1974.
1998 presidential election
Voting for the presidential election took more than three hours, with the Swedish football administrator and president of the European football governing body UEFA Lennart Johansson considered the favourite to win. Johansson's rival was the Swiss-German football executive Joseph "Sepp" Blatter who had previously been an executive at the Swiss watch manufactures Longines and had served as the general secretary of FIFA since 1981. The first round of voting in the election did not produce a clear victor, with Blatter receiving 111 votes to Johansson's 80, but Johansson conceded victory.