Rodolphe William Seeldrayers was the fourth President of FIFA, stepping into the shoes of Jules Rimet whom he had assisted as Vice-President for over 25 years. In his new function, he celebrated the 50th Anniversary of FIFA, which now counted 85 members. Yet his reign was brief, curtailed by his death in October 1955.
Seeldrayers' successor was Arthur Drewry who was elected
President on 9 June 1956, but had already headed FIFA for over half
a year on an interim basis. He chaired the Study Committee for the
new FIFA Statutes and opened the sixth FIFA World Cup in Stockholm
in 1958. Brazil captured their first world title in Sweden but it
would prove the only finals of Drewry's presidency. He died on
25 March 1961 aged 70.
FIFA's operations were controlled for six months by the Swiss Ernst B Thommen who, as chairman of the Organising Committee for the 1954, 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cups, gave great service to the world governing body. Then, on 28 September 1961, Sir Stanley Rous was elected the sixth President of FIFA.
Rous was an international referee in his younger years and in
the late 1930s had helped rewrite the Laws of the Game. It was to
his great delight that during his term of office, England won the
world crown in 1966. As President, Rous oversaw further expansion.
During this post-colonial period, the number of members grew
steadily with affiliation to FIFA among the first steps taken by
many newly independent nations. The television transmission of the
FIFA World Cup also contributed considerably towards the worldwide
As a private institution, FIFA's means and possibilities were still very much restricted as it received neither governmental subsidies nor funds from other sources. Income came strictly from profits from the FIFA World Cup and this money had to be spread out over a four-year period. It took a great deal of self-sacrifice, therefore, to maintain FIFA's good work and Rous achieved this. In recognition of his merits, he was made Honorary President in Frankfurt on 11 June 1974. On that day, the Brazilian Dr Joao Havelange took over the reins of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association.