Habu Gumel, President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), has expressed condolences on behalf of Nigeria to the Brazil Olympic Committee over the passing away of Joao Havelange.
“The ICON of football could not have died at a better time than when the entire world is here in Brazil for the Olympic Games,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday.
“He has died at a ripe age of 100 after witnessing the staging of two major events to South America – the 2014 Wold Cup and the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“Indeed, the entire world will celebrate and not morn. We, Nigerians cannot forget a man who influenced Nigeria’s staging of the World Youth Championship.’’
Meanwhile, in a tribute to his memory, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Director of Communication, Mark Adams who addressed the media said: “Former FIFA President and IOC member Joao Havelange passed away this morning here in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 100.
“Havalange competed as a swimmer at the 1936 Games in Berlin and as a water polo player in the 1952 Games in Helsinki.
“He has also been the president of the Brazilian sports confederation, CBD from 1956 to 1974. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and Brazilian flags will be kept at half mast today.”