FIFA chief Blatter recalls Samaranch's contribution in soccer

14:53, April 22, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

FIFA chief Joseph Blatter mourned the death of Juan Antonio Samaranch on Wednesday, praising the former International Olympic Committe president a pioneer in promoting women's soccer.

The Belgian said the international football community is in mourning following the death of the 89-year-old Samaranch, and recalled the Spaniard's contribution to soccer.

"I met Juan Antonio when I started to work for FIFA, over 35 years ago, and I can vouch for the fact that he was a great football fan and supported this beautiful game with genuine enthusiasm," Blatter told FIFA's official website.

"I remember that in 1996 he was responsible for bringing women's football into the Olympic Movement, one of the most important landmarks in the history of the discipline.

"I always held him in great esteem and admired his extraordinary character," he added. "We worked tenaciously together in support of transparency and fair play and our efforts came to fruition with the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency."

"What we will remember most of all will be his great sense of commitment, his courage and his desire to safeguard sport and its values and to make it a universal virtue."

Samaranch, who's in charge of the IOC from 1980 to 2001, died Wednesday in his home city Barcelona, due to heart failure.



  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 26, a resident passes by a flower terrace decorated for the coming National Day. (Xinhua/Hang Xingwei)
  • The photo, taken on Sept. 26, shows the SWAT team ready for the joint exercise. (Xinhua/Wangkai)
  • Two metro trains in Shanghai collided Tuesday afternoon, and an identified number of passengers were injured in the accident, the Shanghai-based reported. Equipment failures were believed to have caused the crash on the Line 10 subway, Xinhua quoted local subway operator as saying.
  • An employee at a gold store in Yiwu, located in east China's Zhejiang province, shows gold jewelry on Monday.(Xinhua/Zhang Jiancheng)
  • Tourists ride camels near China's largest desert lake Hongjiannao in Yulin, north China's Shaanx Province, Sept. 24, 2011. Hongjiannao is shrinking as a result of climate change and human activities, and may vanish in a few decades. Its lake area, which measured more than 6,700 hectares in 1996, has shrunk to 4,180 hectares. Its water level is declining by 20-30 centimeters annually and its water PH value has risen to 9.0-9.42 from 7.4-7.8. (Xinhua/Liu Yu)
  • Actors perform royal dance at the Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, Sept. 27, 2011. A ceremony commemorating the 38th South Korea Sightseeing Day was held in Gyeongbok Palace on Tuesday. (Xinhua/He Lulu)
Hot Forum Discussion