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Havelange in stable condition with infection

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm •  Published: June 6, 2014
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Former FIFA president Joao Havelange was in stable condition in a Rio de Janeiro hospital, where he was being treated for a respiratory infection, the hospital said in a statement.

Samaritano Hospital said the 98-year-old Havelange was in stable condition but gave no further details.

The hospital said he was admitted on Wednesday.

Havelange led FIFA from 1974-1998, and was followed by current President Sepp Blatter.

He was hospitalized for several months two years ago with an infected right ankle. That infection also spread to his heart and lungs, and several times he surprised physicians as he rebounded from serious heart and breathing problems.

Havelange has become a controversial figure, particularly in recent years.

He resigned from the International Olympic Committee in 2011, citing unspecified health problems. By stepping down he avoided a possible suspension for allegedly taking kickbacks from former FIFA marketing partner ISL. The resignation came just three days before the IOC's executive board was preparing to rule on claims that he took a $1 million payment from World Cup marketing deals while FIFA president.

A former Olympic swimmer and water polo player, Havelange had been with the IOC since 1963 and was its oldest member until resigning.

Following his IOC resignation, he was also forced to resign as FIFA's honorary president.