Former Fifa president Joao Havelange has died at the age of 100

Havelange was born in Rio de Janeiro in May 1916
Havelange was born in Rio de Janeiro in May 1916

The Brazilian was predecessor to Sepp Blatter at world football’s governing body, serving from 1974 to 1998.

He resigned as Fifa’s honorary president in April 2013 following an investigation into bribery allegations and was admitted to hospital the following year with a lung infection.

He was an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from 1963 until 2011, resigning because of ill health.

“He had one idea in his head, to make football a global game with his slogan ‘football is the universal language’, and he succeeded,” said former Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

Havelange represented Brazil in swimming at the 1936 Olympics – the year he qualified as a lawyer – before his election to the IOC.

As Fifa president he led the World Cup’s expansion from 16 to 32 teams, with six competitions held under his tenure.

However, his career was also mired in controversy over bribery allegations.

In 2010, a BBC Panorama programme accused Havelange and son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira of taking millions of dollars in bribes from Swiss marketing agency International Sport and Leisure (ISL) to retain the company as Fifa’s sole official marketer.

SOURCES: BBC SPORTS

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About Cholo Brooks 13330 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.