Havelange has serious bacterial infection

Rio de Janeiro: Former FIFA president Joao Havelange has a serious bacterial infection, the Rio de Janeiro hospital where he is being treated said in a statement on Tuesday.

The hospital said the 95-year-old, who headed FIFA for 24 years, was suffering with septic arthritis in his right ankle.

Hospital sources said Havelange, admitted to hospital on Sunday, was visited on Tuesday by Jose Maria Marin, the new head of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and 2014 World Cup organising committee.

Marin replaced Ricardo Teixeira, who quit earlier this month for health reasons amid corruption allegations.

Havelange took over the FIFA presidency in 1974, ousting Englishman Stanley Rous in an election.

A former Olympic swimmer, he expanded the World Cup from 16 to 32 teams and is credited with turning the tournament, previously restricted mainly to Europe and South America, into a truly global event.

He was an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from 1963 until December when he quit for health reasons, days before an ethics hearing into his conduct during his FIFA presidency.

Havelange was under an IOC investigation for his links to FIFA`s former marketing agency International Sport and Leisure (ISL) which went bankrupt in 2001 with debts of about USD 300 million.

A television programme alleged in 2010 that Havelange had accepted money from ISL for granting lucrative World Cup contracts.

Bureau Report