RIO DE JANEIRO: Joao Havelange, the Brazilian former FIFA president who helped Rio de Janeiro’s winning bid to host the Olympic Games this August, has been hospitalized with pneumonia, a spokeswoman said on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Havelange, 100, was being treated at the Samaritano hospital in Rio. His condition was stable, a statement from the hospital said.
“The patient’s condition is stable and showing gradual improvement,” it said.
President of the Brazilian Sports Confederation from 1956 to 1974, and head of world football governing body FIFA from 1974 to 1998, the imposing figure of Havelange helped Brazil win bids to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
He is credited with helping transform football into a global success story, but his legacy has been tarnished by serious corruption allegations. He resigned as honorary president of FIFA in 2013 after a report found he had taken bribes.