EFEMadrid

The Russian Football Union, or RFS, has congratulated Slovenian Aleksander Ceferin on winning the UEFA presidency election on Wednesday and wished him success, hoping for "efficient cooperation" with the UEFA new president.

Vitaly Mutko, president of RFS and sports minister, said that Ceferin had unprecedented support from several federation presidents in a regional meeting of the UEFA in Moscow.

Mutko pointed out that Ceferin had such support because he is "a young and energetic specialist" who has completed his second term as president of the Slovenian federation.

Ceferin was elected the UEFA president at the organization's Extraordinary Congress in Athens, where he gained 42 votes against 13 for his only rival Dutch Michael van Praag.

Van Praag said that the defeat is "part of the sport" and he "respects" the results.

"Losing is not nice, but I have to thank everyone for the open and clear campaign," Praag said, noting that he and Ceferin "have the same goals."

"But today democracy has spoken and I respect that," the Dutchman added.

Ceferin, a reputable lawyer specialist in criminal and commercial codes who has represented several sportsmen and clubs, emphasized that the best path for UEFA's future is to respect the role of each member.

"It is a great honor, but also a great responsibility," Ceferin said in a speech after the results of the vote.

"It means a lot to me. My small and beautiful Slovenia is very proud of it, and I hope that one day you will also be proud of me," he added.