Joao Havelange, the former president of FIFA, died in Rio de Janeiro’s Samaritano Hospital on Tuesday, the hospital said, without giving further details until authorized by his family.
The former Olympic swimmer and water polo player for Brazil had been in and out of the hospital in recent months with respiratory problems.
Havelange, who was 100, was the first non-European to head the International Football Federation (FIFA), world soccer’s governing body. He helped to transform the group and its flagship event, the World Cup, into a multibillion-dollar enterprise.
After serving 24 years as head of FIFA, Havelange resigned as its honorary president amid corruption allegations against him and others in 2013.
The Engenhao stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where many of the Rio Olympic events are currently underway, was named in his honour.