João Havelange: A Businessman for World Soccer

  • Philippe VonnardEmail author
  • Nicola Sbetti


João Havelange had such a profound impact on the governance and growth of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) that his five terms as president, from 1974 to 1998, can be considered a turning point in the federation’s history. Under Havelange’s guidance, the federation achieved substantial revenue growth, increased its head office staff from 15 to almost 100 people, expanded its membership to over 200 countries and doubled the size of the World Cup finals, its flagship competition, from 16 to 32 teams. Consequently, Havelange can be considered to personify the increased commercialisation of football, and of sport in general, that occurred during the 1980s, with the arrival of more businessmen at the top of international sports federations. This chapter focuses on Havelange's arrival at the top of FIFA and then examines why Havelange, unlike his predecessors, introduced policies specifically aimed at expanding the body.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ISCCParisFrance
  2. 2.University of BolognaBolognaItaly

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