Former boss of the world’s FIFA governing body Joao Havelange has passed away at the age of 100. The FIFA chief from 1974 to 1998 lost his life in Rio de Janeiro’s Samaritano Hospital, but no further details will be been given until his family authorizes.
Havelange who was a former Olympic swimmer and water polo player for Brazil had been in and out of hospital of recent due to respiratory problems.
The former FIFA boss was the first non-European to head the football governing body and his 24-year tenure as President is the second longest in the FIFA history, behind Jules Rimet.
He aided transformation of the body’s flagship event, the World Cup, into a multibillion-dollar business. Mr. Havelange resigned as the honorary FIFA 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 his illness.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed his condolences. “During his 24 years as FIFA President, Havelange became truly global, reaching new territories and brought the game to all corners of the world. Something the whole football community should be grateful for.
We extend our condolences to his family and the football fraternity. May his soul rest in enteral peace.