Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Malta FA deeply saddened by death of Lennart Johansson
Jun 5, 2019
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Lennart Johansson
Lennart Johansson

  • Lennart Johansson

The Malta Football Association is deeply saddened by the news that Lennart Johansson, the former UEFA President, has passed away, aged 89.
 


Mr Johansson, from Sweden, was elected as UEFA’s fifth President at UEFA’s Malta Congress in 1990. He stayed at the helm of the European football body for 17 years, from 1990 to 2007.

 

“During his term of office, the face of the European game changed completely, in sporting and commercial terms,” UEFA said on its official website.

 

“UEFA itself developed from being a purely administrative body in a suburb of the Swiss federal capital Berne to a dynamic modern sport organisation based at the House of European Football in Nyon, on the banks of Lake Geneva in western Switzerland.”

 

While Lennart Johansson was at the helm, the UEFA Champions League was launched at the start of the 1990s and became the world’s most prestigious club competition.

 

National-team football also flourished, with the UEFA European Football Championship final round growing into one of the most popular events on the world sporting calendar alongside the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games, with the number of final tournament participants increasing from eight to 16 during his presidency.

 

Mr Johansson was named Honorary UEFA President at the UEFA Congress in Dusseldorf in January 2007, and he continued to take a keen interest in the affairs of UEFA and European football, in particular by attending UEFA Executive Committee meetings.

 

LOVE FOR FOOTBALL

 

His love for football was lifelong.

 

“The game remains unpredictable,” he said. “Sometimes you cry and sometimes you’re happy. These are the things that make it such a great game, and I am so proud to have played a part in supporting the game's success in Europe.

 

“I know that whatever decisions I’ve taken, whether people agree with them, I’ve taken for what I see as the good of football.”

 

UEFA President Aleksander ńĆeferin said: “UEFA and European football are deeply saddened by the passing of Lennart Johansson, and I would like to express my sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones, as well as to the Swedish Football Association, on their loss.

 

“He was a devoted lover and servant of football, who put his passion at the heart of his life. He will always be remembered as a visionary leader, and as the architect of the UEFA Champions League, and world football will always be grateful to him for all he has achieved for the beautiful game.”

 

As a matter of respect and to pay tribute to the great leader, a moment of silence will be observed at all UEFA Nations League, UEFA European Qualifiers and UEFA Under-21 matches taking place this week.

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