Michael van Praag

Michael van Praag

Chairman of the KNVB and the Dutch Sports Council and director at UEFA

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  • English
  • Dutch

About Michael van Praag

Michael van Praag is a man who is doing a lot of things. He was chairman of AFC Ajax during the heyday of the 90s. As an entrepreneur he sold duty-free electronic products in 17 several stores at Schiphol airport and 10 other international airports, he was director of the supervisory board for clothing brand O’Neill for 9 years and held various positions at the UEFA.

At this moment he is the Federal Chairman of the KNVB, chairman of the Dutch Sports Council, Vice-chairman of UEFA, and member of the board of the Johan Cruyff Foundation.

Relationships only harm those who don't have them

Why Michael van Praag Book as a speaker ?

Michael van Praag has not only held various positions as chairman at Ajax, KNVB, and UEFA, he has also been active in business for many years. That’s why he knows how to make the link between business and top sports. Michael van Praag is an excellent and experienced day chairman. He can properly lead each meeting, can make connections and analyze. In his presentations, he can use his experience as a sports director and entrepreneur to talk fascinated about what sports can do for businesses and the other way. Michael van Praag uses a lot of special anecdotes in his presentations.


In 1963 Michael van Praag began his career as a referee. He was on the pitch every week for 16 years. In 1980 he started as an entrepreneur, he started to sell duty-free electronic products on Schiphol airport and 10 other international airports. He was connected to the company until 2006. In 1989 Michael van Praag became chairman of AFC Ajax with which he followed in the footsteps of his father Jaap van Praag. Under his presidency, Ajax achieved great successes and in 1995 it even won the Champions League. In the meantime, he became involved with the clothing and footwear brand O'Neill. From 1998 till 2007 he was chairman of the supervisory board of O’Neill. In 2003 he said goodbye as chairman of Ajax to start as chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Eredivisie. In 2008 he became Federal Chairman of the KNVB and member of the Executive Committee of UEFA. From 2000 Michael van Praag held various positions there. For years he was chairman of the Club Competitions committee and now he is the chairman of the stadium and safety committee. For two years he was also chairman of the UEFA European taskforce, this team maintains contact between UEFA and Brussels. He is a member of the board of Team Marketing, the organization that sells the rights of the Champions League and the Europa League for UEFA.

In 2014 he made the impression to be the only one who stands up against FIFA president Blatter, which he advised not to apply anymore. This made him one of the challengers of Blatter. In April 2016 has established with royal decree the Dutch sports council.

This Council advises the Minister and the Government on the organization of the important sports events on the Dutch sports calendar. Michael van Praag is the chairman of this organization.

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