Ex-President Of FIFA Dies At 100

Ex-FIFA President João Havelange, who served as president of FIFA for more than two decades has died at the age of 100.

During his 24-year regime, the Brazilian improved the World Cup significantly, growing participating teams from 16 to 32.

The game also witnessed an unexpected advancement in its governing body, becoming a multibillion dollar business before the latest scandal.

He also ensured that the game turned into one of most important events in world sports.

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By the time the law degree holder stepped down in 1998, FIFA had grown dramatically not just in the number of participants but also in its personnel which grew from 12 staff members in its Zurich, Switzerland, headquarters to more than 120.

Also, the number of national soccer federations stepped from 142 to 204 under his watch.

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During his time, he also introduced the FIFA Confederations Cup, and the Under-17, Under-20 and the women’s World Cups.
As FIFA president, he organized six world cups from 1974 to 1998, when Sepp Blatter took over.

Despite all his achievements, his footprints were blackened in 2012 when a Swiss court discovered that Havelange and Brazilian sports chief Ricardo Teixeira were bribed by International Sports and Leisure, a marketing partner of FIFA and the International Olympic Committee, which became broke in 2001.

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Havelange was said to have received a minimum of 1.5 million Swiss francs ($1.53 million at the time), while Teixeira, his one time son-in-law, was paid at least 12.4 million Swiss francs (then $12.64 million), based on the claims by Switzerland’s supreme court.

Havelange resigned as IOC’s longest-serving member in 2011, a role he began playing in 1963.

During his youth, the Brazilian businessman with a law degree, was a water polo player and an Olympic swimmer.