The Rio-born sports executive was the second longest-serving FIFA president. He resigned as honorary president in 2013 and was later embroiled in the recent corruption scandal.
Joao Havelange, the former president of FIFA, has died at the age of 100. This was confirmed to the DPA news agency by a spokesperson for the hosptial in Rio de Janeiro, where he was being treated.
The Brazilian took the top office at world football’s governing body from Englishman Stanley Rous in 1974 and has been credited with helping restribute some of the FIFA’s power to developing nations.
The expansion of the World Cup in 1982 to 24 teams was to benefit countries in the African and Asian confederation and helped cement his power as FIFA president – a role that he would remain in until June 1998.
Havelange had a career in swimming before moving into politics. He took part in the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin and in the 1952 Games in Helsinki. After retiring from professional sports, apart from being FIFA president, he was the head of Brazil’s swimming federation and later became a member of Brazil’s Olympic Committee.
Havelange had been hospitalized in July with pneumonia.
More to follow …
rd/pfd (dpa, SID)