Champions League founder dies at 89


Former UEFA president Lennart Johansson has died at the age of 89.
The Swedish Football Association said Johansson died after a short illness.

The Swede headed UEFA from 1990 to 2007, and he is most recognised for founding the Champions League in 1992 – a development from what was previously known as the European Cup.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino led the tributes to Johansson.

“I am heartbroken by the news of the passing away of Lennart Johansson,” Infantino said, in a statement on the FIFA website.

“He was a friend and an invaluable source of wisdom and inspiration.
“I will be forever grateful for having had him as the president of UEFA when I joined the organisation in 2000. Since then, Lennart has always been a role model of professionalism and, more importantly, of humanity.”

Swedish FA chairman Karl-Erik Nilsson said: “Lennart Johansson is our greatest international football leader of all time.

“His actions as UEFA president and vice president of FIFA are deeply respected. His leadership is admired the world over.

“I remember Lennart Johansson as a committed and wise leader with an immeasurable integrity, I also remember him as a warm and humorous person with an infinite love of football.

“I met him as recently as a week ago, in connection with the Europa League final in Baku. It was always a hearty meeting, filled with joy and rewarding football discussions.”

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