STOCKHOLM, June 5: Lennart Johansson, who oversaw the introduction of the Champions League during a 17-year reign as president of European soccer’s governing body, has died. He was 89.
Sweden’s soccer association said the former UEFA president died on Tuesday after a short illness.
“Lennart Johansson was our biggest international football leader of all time, no Swedish has had a similar influence on football in the world,” Swedish Football Association president Karl-Erik Nilsson said on Wednesday.
“He was deeply respected as UEFA president and vice president of FIFA, his leadership has aroused admiration worldwide.”
Johansson was elected to lead UEFA from 1990 to 2007 when he was beaten in the presidential election by former France great Michel Platini. Johansson also served as vice president of FIFA, but lost a divisive contest for the presidency to Sepp Blatter in 1998. Blatter rejected allegations of vote-buying, and the two never saw eye to eye after that. – AP