Former FIFA president Joao Havelange hospitalized in Rio

The 99-year old Brazilian handed over the FIFA presidency in 1998 to Sepp Blatter.

Former FIFA president Joao Havelange hospitalized in Rio

Rio de Janeiro: Former FIFA president Joao Havelange is being treated in a Rio de Janeiro hospital for respiratory problems.

The 99-year old Brazilian, who handed over the FIFA presidency in 1998 to Sepp Blatter, was hospitalized a year ago for a similar problem.

"He is in stable condition," Rio Hospital Samaritano said today in a brief statement.

Reports of Havelange's condition circulated yesterday, although the hospital told The Associated Press he was admitted more than a week ago on Nov. 17.

Havelange, who led FIFA for 24 years, has been embroiled in controversy 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.

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

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