Lennart Johansson, the former president of Uefa, has died at the age of 89.
The Swede led the governing body of European football from 1990 to 2007, overseeing the change of the European Cup to the Champions League in 1992.
He replaced Jacques Georges as president of Uefa and his 17-year stint is the longest of any president in the organisation’s history. Johansson also served as president of the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) from 1984 to 1991.
Johansson oversaw the expansion of the European Championships from eight national teams to 16 in 1996. The tournament has since expanded further to 24 teams.
Johansson was replaced by Michel Platini as Uefa president in 2007. Johansson was named an honorary president of Uefa that year and continued to attend Executive Committee meetings after his tenure had ended.
He was also a vice-president of Fifa, football’s global governing body. He ran for the Fifa presidency in 1998 but lost out to Sepp Blatter.
Current Fifa president Gianni Infantino today (Wednesday) expressed his condolences at Johansson’s death, stating that he is “heartbroken” by the news. Infantino worked under Johansson at Uefa after joining the organisation in 2000.
Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin said: “He will always be remembered as a visionary leader, and as the architect of the Uefa Champions League, and world football will always be grateful to him for all he has achieved for the beautiful game.”
A moment of silence will be observed at all Uefa Nations League, European Qualifiers and U21 matches taking place this week as a tribute to Johansson.