The election that changed football: when Joao Havelange unseated Sir Stanley

Sir Stanley Rous woke early on the morning of June 11, 1974, opening his hotel room curtains as the rest of Frankfurt slept. He was greeted by a slate grey sky emptying torrential rain on a city readying itself for a FIFA Congress that would shape the future of football.

The previous day had been a good one for the man the Daily Mirror referred to as ‘Mr World Football’. A last-minute shoring up of his support from Asia and a number of African countries had, he hoped, breathed fresh life into the campaign to continue his 13-year reign as the most influential man in the global game.

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