Italian lawyer Mauro Balata has been named as the new chairman of Lega Serie B, the governing body that runs the second tier of professional soccer in Italy.
Balata was elected with 17 votes from the 22 competing Serie B clubs. His only rival, former referee Gianluca Paparesta, received one vote, with the remaining teams abstaining from the ballot. Antonio Gozzi will serve as Balata’s new vice president.
Balata succeeds Andrea Abodi, who resigned earlier in the year to participate in Italy’s federal election.
The Rome native had previously been the Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) inter-regional attorney. He was also a professor at the Forensic School of Rome, a member of the Scientific Committee of the Chamber of Lawyers of Rome and a collaborator with the University for Foreigners of Perugia.
In 2004, the then Italian president Giorgio Napolitano awarded Balata the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for the work he had done in the federation's procuration.
"I thank the Serie B League clubs for the trust I have been given," Balata said. "I will work with the utmost commitment for the good of the Italian league and Italian football, ready to build a new path for the future of Lega B, which will be the real protagonist of the relaunch of the entire Italian football system, as expected by many parties, and waiting for important and difficult challenges.”