Congolese football is in mourning following the death of Sylvestre Mbongo on Wednesday 15 February. He was 70. The longest-serving president of the Congolese Football Association (FECOFA), Mr Mbongo also held a number of other executive positions in African and world football.

In a letter addressed to Jean Paul Mbono, the current head of FECOFA, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter expressed his grief at the death of his former colleague.

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Mr Sylvestre Mbongo, a former president of the Congolese Football Association and a man I knew well through his work at FIFA and the CAF,” he wrote. “He played a fundamental role in promoting and developing the game and its values, both in his country and throughout Africa and the world as a whole.”

A member of FIFA’s Organising Committee for the Olympic Football Tournaments from 1994 to 2000 and then again from 2002 to 2007, Mr Mbongo was also an honorary member of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football, on which he formerly sat.

“I would like, on behalf of the international football family and in my own name, to extend to both you and the Congolese Football Association my most sincere condolences,” added Blatter before concluding: “I would be most obliged if you would pass my sympathy and support on to his family and loved ones at this painful time.”