Former president of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), Joao Havelange has died at the age of 100.
According to reports in Brazil, Havelange, who competed as an Olympic swimmer for Brazil at Berlin in 1936 and was a member of their 1952 water polo team in Helsinki, died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Brazilian served as the seventh president of FIFA from 1974 and 1998 before Sepp Blatter took over.
João Havelange served as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1963 to 2011, him being the longest-serving active member upon his resignation.
Expressing his sympathies, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said: “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 was born in Rio de Janeiro on May 8, 1916 to Belgian immigrants, Jean-Marie Faustin Godefroid.
Though he trained as a lawyer, Havelange continued to pursue a career in the world of sport, becoming the head of the Brazilian delegation at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and the honorary president of Fluminense Football Club.
In 1958, at the age of 42, he was appointed chairman of the Brazilian Sports Association (CBD), which later became the Brazilian Football Association (CBF).
Voted on to the International Olympic Committee in 1963, Havelange was elected President of FIFA on 11 June 1974.