UEFA chief executive Lars-Christer Olsson resigns

February 1, 2007

NYON, Switzerland -- UEFA chief executive Lars-Christer Olsson resigned Thursday, less than a week after Lennart Johansson lost the European soccer body's presidential election.

Olsson had been Johansson's right-hand man -- both men are from Sweden -- but Johansson lost to Michel Platini in last week's vote.

"Over the past three years, [Olsson] has worked hard to continue the dialogue between UEFA and all of European football's stakeholders and together they have achieved a great deal in a very short period," Platini said in a statement.

Gianni Infantino of Italy was appointed interim CEO by UEFA. Infantino joined UEFA in 2000 and was director of its legal affairs and licensing department.

Olsson took over from Gerhard Aigner in January 2004, but was widely expected to leave his post after Platini's election.

The new UEFA president praised Olsson's work in managing the organization, in particular on sharing its income from big tournaments -- such as the European Championship and Champions League -- as well as forging closer ties with member associations and developing the game at the grass roots level.

"I am sure that these initiatives will serve as a solid base for further development and will provide a lasting legacy for the European football family as a whole," Platini said.

Olsson joined UEFA in 2000 as director of Professional Football and Marketing. He previously worked as the general secretary of both the Swedish league and Swedish soccer federation. He was also an amateur player and coach in Sweden.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press