Havelange FIFA's New President

Date Published: 
1974-06-12
Source: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Sir Stanley Rous bows out

JOAO HAVELANGE, as predicted by many, ended the 13-year-old hold of Sir Stanley Rous, and became yesterday the first South American President of the International Football Federation (FIFA) in a two phase election battle that saw a total of 122 delegates voting, Jamaica's representatives among them, in Frankfurt, Germany, two days before the World Cup which begins tomorrow. Jamaica elected to cast her vote for Havelange.

The new FIFA president, a multi-millionaire Brazilian businessman also head of his South American nation's all-powerfull Brazilian Sports Confederation, had to be literally lifted down the stairs from tin rostrum after the elections the Gleaner has learnt, as delirious Brazilians hugged him. He had come to the successfull end of a three-year campaign which had taken him to some 83 countries including Jamaica and cost him personally around J$330,000.

This was the first time that anyone other than a European had been winning the Presidency in the history of FIFA.

FRANKFURT, Germany, June 11, (AP):

Joao Havelange of Brazil Tuesday became the first South American President of the World Soccer Federation (FIFA).

Havelange, 58, was elected by the FIFA Congress and unseated the reigning President, Sir Stanley Rous of England by 68 votes to 52 in a second ballot.

On the first vote Havelange won by 62 to 56. But under FIFA rules a two-thirds majority is needed on the first ballot, so delegates voted again and Havelange won on a straight majority.

This was the first time since FIFA was founded 70 years ago that the Presidency has ever gone outside Europe, where soccer was born.

Rous took over in mid-term as successor of the late Arthur Drury, who died in 1961. A President is normally elected for a four-year term.

For the last two terms of his Presidency Rous was unopposed.

A total of 122 delegates took part in the election. There were four blank votes on the first ballot and two on the second.

Valentin Granakin of the Soviet Union, senior Vice-President, presided while the votes were being cast. Rous, who had been Chairman of the Congress during the morning's business, sat at the back of the hall and waited for the result.

When it was announced he went straight to Havelange and shook his hand.

Granatkin, giving the voting figures, said Rous had been made an Honourary President.

Rous' term of office ends officially after the World Cup, which begins in Germany tomorrow.

The Englishman, who has spent most of his life in soccer administration, left the rostrum smiling at the end of the congress.

"I still have a lot of work to do", Rous told newsmen who gathered around him. "Remember, I am an honourary president."

"It has been an honour to be president of FIFA. No doubt the good work of FIFA will continue," he said.

But later, when he held a press conference, Rous said wistfully: "It is difficult to realize that I am not president of FIFA. It will take me some time to get used to it."

Major plans

Among his plans as head of FIFA, Havelange says he wishes to expand the World Cup by increasing the number of participants from the current 18 to 20 in 1978, and from 20 to 24 in 1984. FIFA has already accepted the first part of this
plan.

He also plans to create a World Cup for players under 20-years old, with both amateurs and professionals taking part.

The competition would be held two years after each World Cup.

He wants to help the underdeveloped national soccer federations by supplying them with sports material, to finance construction of modern stadiums in several countries, and to improve the existing ones, and to create modern courses for referees, medical doctors, coaches, physical trainers, masseurs' and other experts.

Havelange will continue living in Brazil. "I'll probably have to come to Europe ten or eleven times a year", he said. "Since I already come an average of seven, three or four more times won't hurt."