Football World Mourns Sprengers And Mitic
Mathieu “Jeu” Sprengers, who had been at the helm of the Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) since 1993, died on 6 April at the age of 69 after a short illness.
Sprengers held key roles at FIFA over the last few years as the chairman of the Working Group for Financial Matters of the FIFA Task Force “For the Good of the Game” and as a member of the Internal Audit Committee, before becoming a member representing the associations on the FIFA Strategic Committee. He car¬ried out these tasks with great dedica¬tion, providing guidance and advice with regard to financial matters and the dub licensing system at world level. Sprengers had been serving the game faithfully for several decades, his other notable roles including chairman of the Dutch club, WV Venlo, from 1980 until 1990 and then succeeding Jo van Marie as the Dutch football association President from 1993. His distinguished career also included the vice-presidency of the organising committee for the EURO 2000 finals in Belgium and the Netherlands and the office of treasurer of UEFA from 2000 to 2007. The global football family is also mourn¬ing Rajko Mitic. The Serb, who scored 32 goals in 59 appearances for former Yugoslavia, died on 30 March at the age of 85.
Mitic was an international star for many years, carving a niche for himself at various clubs, most notably with Red Star Belgrade. Mitic won five domes¬tic titles and four Yugoslavian Cups, played in the 1950 and 1954 FIFA World Cups™ and was a silver medallist at the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Football Tournaments. He also enjoyed success as a coach, especially in 1968 when his team took the runner-up spot at the UEFA European Championship. Upon his retirement in 1983, Mitic renewed acquaintance with Red Star, serving as a vice-president on the club’s board on two separate occasions.