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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Former UEFA President, Lennart Johansson Dies At 89

Lennart Johansson, a Swede who presided over European soccer for 17 years as its Champions League turned into a global commercial juggernaut, has died after a short illness aged 89, Sweden’s Football Association said on Wednesday.

Johansson, president of European football association UEFA from 1990 to 2007, was a driving force behind the formation of the Champions League, giving the continent’s championship a new identity and a huge revenue stream for big clubs.

“Swedish football is in mourning,” the Swedish FA said in a statement.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said Johansson would be remembered as the architect of the Champions League.

“World football will be always be grateful to him for all he has achieved for the beautiful game,” Ceferin said in a statement.

Johansson ran against Swiss Sepp Blatter to head football’s world governing body FIFA in an acrimonious vote in 1998 but lost. Blatter, who led FIFA for 17 years, is serving a six-year ban from football for unethical conduct.

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