Swden’s Football Association has announced that Lennart Johansson, the former UEFA president has died at the age of 89.
Johansson headed the governing body from 1990 to 2007 and is most recognised for making the Champions League what is today following its re-branding from the European Cup in 1992.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino led the tributes to Johansson.
“I am heartbroken by the news of the passing away of Lennart Johansson,” he 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.”
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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.”
Before England play the Netherlands in the Nations League, there will be a minute’s silence[/caption]
Johansson was elected as UEFA’s fifth president, and he oversaw the organisation’s rise in prominence from being an administrative body to a modern sport organisation, based in Nyon, Switzerland.
Johansson also served as FIFA vice-president, but he lost a presidency contest to Sepp Blatter in 1998. He was also president of the Swedish FA from 1984 to 1991, and he had close ties with the AIK Solna club.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “UEFA and European football are deeply saddened by the passing of Lennart Johansson, and I would like to express my sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones, as well as to the Swedish Football Association, on their loss.
“He was a devoted lover and servant of football, who put his passion at the heart of his life.
“He will always be remembered as a visionary leader, and as the architect of the UEFA Champions League, and world football will be always be grateful to him for all he has achieved for the beautiful game.”
UEFA announced a minute’s silence will be observed at the Nations League finals, European qualifiers and under-21 matches taking place this week.