Brazil-born former FIFA president Joao Havelange, predecessor to Sepp Blatter, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 100.
He had been hospitalised several times in recent years and was underwent treatment for pneumonia last month.
Havelange served as the head of FIFA from 1974 until 1998, but following bribery allegations, he resigned in April 2013 as the organisation’s honorary president.
He also worked as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from 1963 until 2011, quitting the post due to ill health.
An imposing figure, Havelange was behind the expansion of the World Cup from 16 to 32 countries, overseeing six tournaments during his time at the helm.
He also implemented the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup tournaments, as well as the Confederations Cup and Women's World Cup.
"He had one idea in his head, to make football a global game with his slogan 'football is the universal language', and he succeeded," Blatter said of his predecessor.
But in 2010 Havelange found himself and son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira implicated in having accepted millions of dollars in bribes from Swiss marketing agency International Sport and Leisure to keep the company as FIFA's sole official marketer.
However, his resignation from the IOC in 2011 spared him an official investigation into the allegations, which both he and Teixeira have denied.
Before working for FIFA and the IOC, Havelange, a lawyer, was employed by several sporting bodies, including the Metropolitan Swimming Federation in Brazil, the Brazilian Olympic Committee, the International Cycling Union and the Brazilian Sports Confederation.
He represented Brazil in swimming at the 1936 Olympics and played water polo team for his country at the 1952 Helsinki Games.