Husain Al-Musallam celebrates after being elected as President of FINA ©FINA

Husain Al-Musallam has been elected President of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) at the governing body’s Congress in Doha.

The election of the Kuwaiti official was a formality, after Al-Musallam was confirmed as the only candidate for the position.

Al-Musallam moves into the top job after serving as the FINA first vice-president under Julio Maglione, who has stepped down as FINA President after 12 years in the role.

The election of Al-Musallam, who was nominated by the Asia Swimming Federation, was confirmed by the Congress.

The Congress was held in a hybrid format to allow members to attend either in person in Qatari capital Doha or connect virtually.

A total of 319 votes were cast by FINA members in the Presidential election.

Al-Musallam received 302 votes in favour, with seven candidates voting against his election and 10 abstentions.

"You are looked at the proudest and most humble man in Doha," Al-Musallam said.

"Thank you for putting your trust in me.

"I will not let you down.

"Today is the start of new journey for the aquatics family together.

"It is the culmination of a lifetime voyage for me and the honour of being elected your President."

Al-Musallam paid tribute outgoing Maglione at the Congress.

Julio Maglione's 12-year tenure as FINA President came to a close ©FINA
Julio Maglione's 12-year tenure as FINA President came to a close ©FINA

A video message was also shown from International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach praising Maglione's contribution to the sport and the Olympic Movement.

Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, who is self-suspended as an IOC member and has stepped aside from his role as Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President amid a court case in Switzerland over forgery claims, was also in attendance at the Congress.

Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad presented Maglione with the organisation’s Order of Merit award during the Congress.

The Congress elected 16 FINA Bureau members from continental organisations en bloc.

South Africa’s Sam Ramsamy, Morocco’s Zouheir El Moufti, Uganda’s Ronald Rukare and Senegal’s Mohamed Diop were elected from Africa.

Paraguay’s Juan Carlos Orihuela, Barbados’ Errol Clarke, Canada’s Cheryl Gibson and United States’ Dale Neuburger were the Americas representatives.

China’s Zhou Jihong, Oman’s Taha Al Kishry and Kazakhstan’s Andrey Kryukov were elected from Asia, with Italy’s Paolo Barelli, Spain’s Fernando Carpena, Greece’s Dimitrios Diathesopoulos and Britain’s David Sparkes securing European spots.

Matthew Dunn of Australia was the sole Oceania representative.

A total of 316 votes approved the candidates, with one no vote and two abstentions.

The newly elected FINA Bureau will serve a four-year term ©FINA
The newly elected FINA Bureau will serve a four-year term ©FINA

Ramsamy and Dunn were confirmed as FINA first and second vice-presidents respectively, with the remaining vice-president spots secured by Zhou, Orihuela and Barelli.

Zhou is the first female vice-president of FINA.

Al-Musallam has been FINA's first vice-president since 2015 and was re-elected to that post in 2017 after aquatics' global governing body dismissed allegations linked to a football bribery case and commissions relating to 2012 OCA sponsorship deals.

A further eight world at large members were elected, including Mauritius’ Doreen Tiborcz, Bahamas’ Algernon Cargill, Uruguay’s Veronice Stanham, Japan’s Daichi Suzuki, India’s Virenda Nanavati and Cook Islands’ Romani Katoa.

The Netherlands’ Erik Van Heijingen and Portugal’s Antonio Silva won a contested election for the two European spots, with the pair chosen ahead of Ukraine’s Andrey Vlaskov.

Van Heijingen and Silva earned 275 and 267 votes, respectively, with Vlaskov earning 62.

Incumbent Dale Neuburger was re-elected FINA treasurer.