Havelange, Joao

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Havelange, Joao

Joao Havelange (Jean-Marie Faustin Godefroid de Havelange), 1916–2016, Brazilian business and sports executive, b. Rio de Janeiro. An Olympic swimmer (1936) and water polo player (1952), he was a member of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (1955–63), and of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (1963–2011). As president of the Brazilian Sports Confederation (1958–73), he saw Brazil win three World Cups (1958, 1962, 1970). Havelange then served as president (1974–98) of FIFA (Fédération International de Football Association), soccer's international governing body; he was the first non-European to hold the post. He helped FIFA to became one of the largest sports organizations in the world, overseeing the expansion of the World Cup both in the number and diversity of the participant nations. He also negotiated huge television and marketing agreements and initiated the FIFA Women's World Cup (1991). His successes were marred by later revelations of bribery and corruption, which precipitated his IOC resignation.

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