After learning of the death of Necdet Cobanli, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has offered his sincere condolences in a letter to Ebru Koksal, the General Secretary of the Turkey Football Federation.

Describing him as ‘the first Turkish sportsman’, Blatter pointed out his pedigree as a lawyer and a successful businessman as well as his time with Galatasaray. He wrote:

“I remember well when he was elected as a FIFA Executive Committee member in 1976, which marked the beginning of 12 years of close collaboration.”

Cobanli was also made a FIFA Honorary Member in 1988 in recognition of his valuable services to football.

“On behalf of FIFA and the worldwide football family, I wish to extend our condolences to you, the Turkish football community and, most importantly, to Necdet Cobanli’s family, friends and loved ones,” concluded the FIFA President.

“Please let them know that today the football community stands by their side and we wish them all the strength necessary for these difficult times.”