• Born in Canton Valais, Switzerland in March 1936
  • Studied in University of Lausanne, Switzerland, with a degree in Economics
  • Became Head of Public elations at the Valaisian Tourist Board
  • Also served as General Secretary of Swiss Ice Hockey Federation
  • Joined watch-makers Longines as Director of Sports Timing and Relations
  • Joined FIFA in 1975
  • Was Technical Officer, later Technical Director of FIFA (1975-1981)
  • As Technical Director, he came to Africa (Ethiopia) to launch FIFA’s first development programme in 1976
  • Became FIFA General Secretary (1981-1998)
  • Became FIFA President (1998 to the present day)


As FIFA President

  • Always made public his admiration for Africa, and his desire to assist African football
  • Launched various projects for development of African football
  • The “Goal” project was well-received in Africa, and was responsible for the ability of many federations to own their own secretariats, and their own pitches and training centres
  • Also supervised and supported the “Win-In-Africa-With-Africa” project which provided skills training and assistance to administrators and technical officials of football in Africa
  • Other projects he supported are “Football For Hope” and the creation of a Performance Department in FIFA which plays an active part in providing assistance to African federations
  • Very vocal in active support for Africa’s hosting of FIFA’s flagship competition – the FIFA World Cup which came to fruition in 2010 in South Africa
  • Also has supported Africa’s hosting of many global competitions including the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Egypt (1997), the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Nigeria (1999) and the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria (2009)

His reaction to being made Member, African Football Hall of Fame:

“It is a great honour for me to have been inducted, together with FIFA Vice-President and CAF President Issa Hayatou, into the CAF Hall of Fame, on the very same day of its launch. I take it as an acknowledgement of my personal commitment and that of FIFA too, towards the development of football in Africa. It was on African soil that I launched FIFA’s very first football development programmes, in Addis Ababa in 1976. It was then that I came to realise the extraordinary social dimension of football. Later, I became a strong advocate of Africa hosting FIFA’s flagship competition. That dream came true when South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World CupTM. After providing so much of the talent in football, it was duly time for Africa to put on the biggest show on Earth.

For the Game. For the World. For Africa”