FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has expressed his heartfelt condolences after learning of the death of the celebrated Italian journalist, Candido Cannavo, who passed away on Sunday 22 February at the age of 78.
Cannavo, the editor of Gazzetta dello Sport between 1983 and 2002, initially joined the publication's ranks in 1955 and continued to contribute to the publication via his Candidamente and Fatemi capire columns.
Indeed, it was at Gazzetta's offices in Milan where Cannavo suffered a massive stroke, just three days before his death.
We would hope that in some way, our words of support may help bring a little bit of peace and solace in this time of sadness.
All Italian sports events will observe a minute's silence in his memory in the coming days and the FIFA President was swift to add his own personal tribute.
In a letter to Carlo Verdelli, the Chief Editor of Gazzetta, Blatter wrote: "On behalf of FIFA and the worldwide family of football, I wish to extend our condolences to you, to the Italian sporting community and, most importantly, to Candido Cannavo's family, friends and loved ones.
"Please let them know that today the football community stands by their side. We would hope that in some way, our words of support may help bring a little bit of peace and solace in this time of sadness."