Brazilian elected as new President of FIVB
Friday, 21 September 2012
September 21 - Brazilian Ary Graca was tonight elected as the new President of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) after winning the first election in the 65 year history of world governing body.
He defeated America's Doug Beal and Australia's Chris Schacht in the election held at the FIVB Congress at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California, to succeed China's Jizhong Wei, who had kept his promise to step down after serving one four-year term.
Graca, President of both the South American Volleyball Confederation and the Brazilian Volleyball Federation, lived up to his favourites tag.
He polled 103 of the 206 votes to earn the 50 per cent majority he needed to win in the first round.
Beal, the chief executive of USA Volleyball, got 86 votes and Schacht, President of the Australian Volleyball Federation, 15.
Two ballot papers were declared invalid.
Graca becomes only the second Brazilian to lead an international sports organisation - the first was João Havelange, the FIFA President from 1974 to 1998.
The election of Graca, a lawyer, is a big boost to the prestige of Brazilian sport in the build-up to the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
Under Graca, Brazil have been transformed into the sport's strongest nation having finished top of the medals table at London 2012 with four medals, including gold in the women's indoor event.
Graca replaces Wei, who was elected by acclamation at the FIVB Congress four years ago.
He had replaced Mexico's Rubén Acosta, who had held the post since 1984, having taken over France's Paul Libaud, who had been President since the organisation's founding in 1947.
"During my campaign, I spoke very little," said Graca during his presentation before the vote.
"Instead, I listened to you, too understand your needs, your realities.
"You will always have a voice with me."
September 2012: Brazilian favourite to become new President of FIVB