Lennart Johansson, a Swede who directed European soccer for a long time seeing the Champions League transformed into a worldwide business, has kicked the bucket after a short disease.
Sweden Football Association reported Johansson’s passing on Wednesday.
Johansson, leader of European football affiliation UEFA from 1990 to 2007, was a mainbehind 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 grieving the demise of Johansson .
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said Johansson recognized the role he played in modeling the Champions League.
“World football appreciative him for all he has accomplished for the game,” Ceferin said in an announcement.
Johansson run against Swiss Sepp Blatter for president FIFA in a rancorous vote in 1998 yet lost. Blatter, who drove FIFA for a long time, is serving a six-year restriction from football for deceptive actions.
“The Champions League became an enormous success, but Lennart Johansson’s other major achievement was finding a fragile balance between the big clubs’ demands and the needs of the broader football family.”
Johansson was a lifelong supporter and honorary president of Stockholm club AIK.
The men remained rivals. The Swedish FA cited Johannson as saying: “It is my 20-year battle with Blatter that individuals like.”
Johansson assumed control over the top occupation in European football at a tempestuous time when cash from TV inclusion was flooding into the game and players increased total opportunity to move among nations and clubs in Europe.
“It was anything but a given that UEFA would be fruitful in gathering all these emotional changes,” the Swedish FA said.
“The Champions League turned into a huge achievement, yet Lennart Johansson’s other real accomplishment was finding a delicate harmony between the enormous clubs’ requests and the requirements of the more extensive football family.”
Johansson was a long lasting supporter and privileged leader of Stockholm club AIK.