Havelange condition still serious, says hospital

RIO DE JANEIRO Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:34pm BST

Former FIFA President Joao Havelange attends the Soccerex global convention at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, November 22, 2010. REUTERS/Bruno Domingos

Former FIFA President Joao Havelange attends the Soccerex global convention at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, November 22, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Bruno Domingos

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Former FIFA president Joao Havelange remained in a serious condition in hospital a week after being taken ill with septic arthritis, a statement said on Monday.

"The medical condition of the FIFA president of honour is still serious and inspires care," said the Samaritano hospital. "The treatment with antibiotics is continuing to combat the infection, which has been diagnosed in his right ankle."

The hospital added that the 95-year-old did not need any breathing apparatus.

Havelange, a former Olympic swimmer, was FIFA president from 1974 to 1998 when he was replaced by Sepp Blatter, the present incumbent.

He was an International Olympic Committee member until December until he quit his position last December days before an ethics hearing into his conduct during his FIFA presidency.

He was under an IOC investigation for his links to FIFA's former marketing agency International Sport and Leisure which went bankrupt in 2001 with debts of around 187 million pounds.

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

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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