Michael van Praag (1947) was elected President of the Royal Dutch Football Association in August 2008. A successful businessman, Van Praag had been a referee in the Dutch amateur football league for 16 years when he became the chairman of Ajax Amsterdam, a post he held from 1989 until mid-2003.
Under Van Praag’s administration, Ajax won several major trophies including the UEFA Champions League in 1995, one of the most memorable moments in his longstanding career in football.
“My most beautiful moment was flying over Amsterdam with the team and the pilot making a special manoeuvre to salute the crowd in red-and-white on the ground.”
In 2003, following his tenure at Ajax, Michael van Praag joined the KNVB Supervisory Board until his election as President. He combines this office with several high-level positions at UEFA. These include membership of the UEFA Executive Committee, Chairman of the UEFA Club Competitions Committee and Deputy Chairman of the UEFA HatTrick Committee. In 2013, he was appointed to supervise TEAM Marketing, a commercial agency which manages UEFA’s commercial rights.
Van Praag has built up an extensive international network and his thorough insider’s knowledge of the world of football makes him a welcome guest at meetings at home and abroad. The KNVB President lives with his wife and daughter in the western town of Aerdenhout. He owns a theatre production company and is a keen singer and musician, playing several instruments: drums, piano, vibraphone and tuba.
In the summer of 2015, Van Praag was named Vice-President of UEFA. He is one of the five Vice-Presidents on the UEFA Executive Committee, European football’s supreme decision-making body.