The Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) has paid tribute to former FIFA President Joao Havelange with the publication of a new biography chronicling his lifelong commitment to sport.
Entitled “Joao Havelange – O Dirigente Esportivo do Seculo XX” (Joao Havelange: The Greatest Sports Administrator of the 20th Century), the book comprises 240 pages and features many unpublished photos and comments made by the 94-year-old Havelange. Launched last week, it was written by Jose Mario Pereira and Silvia Marta Vieira and published by Casa da Palavra.
“I have to say this book has brought a tear to my eye,” said the book’s subject, who was the President of world football’s governing body between 1974 and 1998. “I’m very touched by the way it’s been done and the way it’s been launched. It’s a book that gives me a lot of satisfaction."
Before pursuing a career in sports administration, Havelange was an outstanding athlete, representing his country in the swimming events at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and forming part of the Brazilian water polo team at Helsinki 1952. Four years later he was appointed head of the Brazilian Sports Confederation (CBD), a position he held until 1974, when he was elected FIFA President.
During his period in office, he oversaw the staging of six FIFA World Cup™ finals. Now Honorary FIFA President, Havelange has one dream left to fulfil: “I want to be around in 2014 and 2016 to see the World Cup and Olympic Games take place in my country.”