Former president of football’s world governing body Joao Havelange has died at the age of 100.
The FIFA chief from 1974 to 1998 died in Rio de Janeiro’s Samaritano Hospital but no further details are to be given until authorized by his family.
Havelange was a former Olympic swimmer and water polo player for Brazil had been in and out of the hospital in recent months with respiratory problems.
Former FIFA President Joao Havelange passes away aged 100 in Rio de Janeirohttps://t.co/5XJ7IUYMvn pic.twitter.com/JkFdUdc6Ws— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) August 16, 2016
Havelange was the first non-European to head FIFA and his 24-year tenure as President is the second longest in the organisation’s history, behind only that of Jules Rimet.
He helped to transform the group and its flagship event, the World Cup, into a multibillion-dollar business.
But he resigned as its honorary president amid corruption allegations against him in 2013.
He was also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from 1963 until 2011 when he stepped down due to ill health.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed his sympathies: “During his 24 years as FIFA President football became truly global, reaching new territories and bringing the game to all corners of the world. Something the whole football community should be grateful for. I extend my condolences to his family.”
Joao Havelange, the former FIFA president has died. Football gave him so much. Yes, you read that correctly.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 16, 2016
Blatter says football owes Havelange “huge debt of gratitude .. football, your passion, my mission, is in good shape”https://t.co/OnGiusl0Xu— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) August 16, 2016
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