Swiss football is mourning the passing of Gabriel Monachon – honorary member of the Swiss Football Association (SFV-ASF) and honorary president of Neuchâtel Xamax FC – who died on Friday at the age of 88.
Monachon was one of the men who helped to make a success of the merger in 1970 of Neuchâtel-Sports and FC Xamax, becoming the new entity's first president. Although he handed over the presidency in 1979, he had united the two sides into a club, Neuchâtel Xamax, that would be capable of winning two Swiss league titles and reaching five Swiss Cup finals, though they lost them all.
Though remembered latterly as a distinguished football administrator, Gabriel Monachon actually began his career in the game as a top-class player with FC Aarau. Gilbert Facchinetti, the current president of Neuchâtel Xamax, remembers him as a "fast left-winger".
His work in sports administration earned him honorary titles from the SFV-ASF and his beloved club. He was also a lifelong friend of the FIFA President Joseph Blatter, with whom he had served in the army.
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