Lennart Johansson

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Lennart Johansson
Lennart johansson (cropped).jpg
Johansson in 2006
Honorary President of UEFA
In office
26 January 2007 – 4 June 2019
PresidentMichel Platini
Ángel María Villar (acting)
Aleksander Čeferin
5th President of UEFA
In office
19 April 1990 – 26 January 2007
Preceded byJacques Georges
Succeeded byMichel Platini
Personal details
Nils Lennart Johansson

(1929-11-05)5 November 1929
Stockholm, Sweden
Died4 June 2019(2019-06-04) (aged 89)
Stockholm, Sweden
OccupationFootball administrator
Tribute to Lennart Johansson at Friends Arena in June 2019

Nils Lennart Johansson (5 November 1929 – 4 June 2019) was a Swedish sports official who served as the fifth and, to date, the longest serving president of UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations. He served in the position from his election at UEFA's Malta Congress in 1990 until 2007.[1] In June 1998, he contested the FIFA presidential election against Sepp Blatter, losing by 111 votes to 80.

Early life[edit]

Johansson grew up in Åkeshov [sv] in Stockholm with his parents, his father Erik Hilmer Johansson (1883–1963) and mother Anna-Maria Johansson (née Pettersson 1885–1964).[2][3] As a child, he used to bike from his home to Råsunda Stadium to watch AIK matches along with his brothers.[3] He also played football for his local team Åkeshov.[3]


Johansson worked at Forbo Forshaga (now Forbo Flooring) from 1950 to 1990,[4][5] starting as an errand-boy and in the end becoming the company's CEO and chairman.[6] From 1984, he was a president of the board of Tipstjänst and Operakällaren;[4][7] he was also chairman and president of AIK between 1967 and 1980.[8] Johansson was a lifelong supporter of AIK.[9]

Between 1985 and 1990, Johansson was the president of the Swedish Football Association.[10][11] In 1990, he was voted UEFA President at UEFA's Malta Congress.[10][12] Johansson helped found the UEFA Champions League, replacing the European Cup.[10][12] Johansson supported Sweden's bid to host UEFA Euro 1992,[11] and England's bid to host UEFA Euro 1996.[11][13] During Johansson's presidency, the UEFA headquarters were also moved from Bern to Nyon.[11]

In June 1998, Johansson contested Sepp Blatter to become FIFA President; he lost by 111 votes to 80.[14] It was alleged that Blatter's victory had been helped by bribery involving João Havelange.[15][16] After the election, Johansson accused Blatter of financial mismanagement, and voted for Issa Hayatou rather than Blatter at the 2002 FIFA presidency election.[9]

In 2007, Johansson was succeeded as UEFA president by Michel Platini.[14][12] In October 2007, he was appointed chairman of a committee for bringing bandy into the Olympic programme.[17]

In 2001, the trophy given to the winning team of Swedish league Allsvenskan was renamed after Johansson: Lennart Johanssons Pokal.[11][18] Prior to this the trophy had been named after Clarence von Rosen.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Johansson was married twice and had five children. He was married to his first wife, Anna-Stina Eriksson (1922–2005), from 1953 to 1980, with whom he had two daughters.[19] His second marriage was with Lola Sidenvall (1929–2017). In December 2017, he became a widower after his wife Lola died.[20]

Johansson died on 4 June 2019, aged 89.[12]


  1. ^ "Sweden's former Uefa president Lennart Johansson dies aged 89". The Local. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  2. ^ "En gigant som även såg värdet i det lilla". Fotbollskanalen. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Så förändrade Lennart Johansson fotbollen". Dagens Nyheter. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Lennart Johansson – IK Sirius". www.siriusuppsala.se. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Så förändrade Lennart Johansson fotbollen". DN.SE. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  6. ^ "MATS OLSSON: Odödligare än så blir ingen". www.expressen.se. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Lennart Johansson: "Tar AIK guld lever jag ett par år till …"". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  8. ^ AIK Ordförande – historia aik.se Retrieved 5 June 2019 Archived 22 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b "Lennart Johansson, architect of the Champions League, dies aged 89". Stuff.co.nz. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  10. ^ a b c "Champions League architect Lennart Johansson dies at 89". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e Morgan, Tom (5 June 2019). "Champions League founder Lennart Johansson dies, aged 89". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d "Champions League pioneer and ex-Uefa president Lennart Johansson dies". BBC.co.uk. BBC. 5 June 2019.
  13. ^ Ziegler, Martin (5 June 2019). "Death of Lennart Johansson a reminder of FA's role in Fifa's darkest days". The Times. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  14. ^ a b Strandman/TT, Pelle (5 June 2019). "Blatter om Johansson: "Var alltid fair play"". www.helagotland.se. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  15. ^ ""Köpte röster åt Blatter 1998"". SVT Sport. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  16. ^ Ziegler, Martin (3 June 2017). "Lennart Johansson interview: we saw Blatter buy votes. I'm glad they were all found out". The Times. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Lennart Johansson satsar på bandy" (in Swedish). SVT Sport. 18 October 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  18. ^ a b Thorén, Petra. "SM-pokalen ska skrotas". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  19. ^ Sveriges befolkning 1960. Arkiv Digital
  20. ^ "Lennart Johanssons sorg efter hustruns död: "Tragik"" (in Swedish). Expressen. 21 April 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
Civic offices
Preceded by
Gösta Ellhammar
Chairman of AIK
Succeeded by
Carl Erik Hedlund
Preceded by
Gunnar Ericsson
Chairman of the Swedish Football Association
Succeeded by
Lars-Åke Lagrell
Preceded by
Jacques Georges
President of UEFA
Succeeded by
Michel Platini