Former Fifa boss dies
Rio de Janeiro:
Former Fifa president Joao Havelange has died at the age of 100. 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. As well as swimming at the 1936 Olympics, Havelange was part of the Brazilian water polo team at the 1952 Helsinki Games and was chef de mission for the Brazilian delegation at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
And it was as a sports administrator, particularly in football, that Havelange made his mark. He embarked on a career which began as president of the Metropolitan Swimming Federation in Brazil. He also became a member of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and joined the International Cycling Union in 1958.
After becoming vice-president of the Brazilian Sports Confederation, he served as president from 1958 to 1973, before he became the most powerful man in world football. BBC Sports