Dempsey, the patriarch of Oceania football, served as the confederation’s president for 36 years until he stepped down in 2000.
During his years he oversaw the body’s rise to full confederation status from FIFA and was responsible for raising national association membership of the OFC from four to eleven.
He was also one of New Zealand soccer’s longest serving administrators.
He was a New Zealand Football Association national councilor for 23 years and chairman from 1982 to 1987.
Tributes have been pouring in for Dempsey from all over the world and OFC President/FIFA Vice President Reynald Temarii expressed his sadness upon hearing of the death of the former OFC President.
Temarii praised Dempsey for his tireless work throughout Oceania and commitment to his vision.
“The Oceania Football Confederation and FIFA owe Charles a debt of gratitude for his complete devotion, extraordinary loyalty and unwavering service to the sport of football.
“His perseverance, charm and drive will be missed by all the lives he touches and my deepest sympathies are with his family and friends.”
Dempsey’s exceptional work was recognised when he was awarded the Pacific Gold Star in 2000, nominated as an Oceania Football Confederation Honorary President in 2001, and presented with a FIFA Centennial Order of Merit in 2004 for his long and outstanding contribution to football in the region.
OFC General Secretary Tai Nicholas expressed his condolences to Dempsey’s family and mourned the loss of both a mentor and a friend.
“Charles was an inspiration to all of us. His loss will be very heavily felt throughout Oceania and the world where he did so much for the game.
“My thoughts are with his family.”
Further details about the funeral to be held early next week will be released soon.
Football NSW passes wishes to pass its deepest condolences to the Dempsey family.