By Duncan Mackay

Joao HavelangeMarch 20 - Former FIFA President João Havelange is seriously ill while undergoing treatment for an infection, a Brazilian hospital has announced.

The Samaritano Hospital in Rio de Janeiro released a statement with the news after the 95-year-old Havelange was admitted late on Sunday (March 18).

"His condition is serious and requires close attention," said the statement signed by doctor Joao Mansur Filho.

No other details were released but local media reported that Havelange, who is due to turn 96 in May, was being treated in the coronary care unit with intravenous antibiotics and that the forecast was "not good".

Another bulletin is due to be released today, the hospital said.

Last December Havelange resigned from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) claiming undisclosed health reasons.

The resignation, however, came while he faced a possible suspension for allegedly taking kickbacks from former FIFA marketing partner ISL in the 1990s.

Havelange presided over FIFA from 1974 until 1998, when he was replaced by current President Sepp Blatter.

He remains FIFA's honorary President.

The Brazilian has been out of the spotlight since leaving the IOC in December, just three days before the IOC's Executive Board was preparing to rule on claims that Havelange took a $1 million kickback from World Cup marketing deals while FIFA President.

The case was closed after his resignation, and Havelange avoided punishment that could have seen him suspended or expelled.

Havelange joined the IOC in 1963 and was its oldest member until resigning.

This latest health scares coincides with the decision of Ricardo Teixeira, his former son-in-law, to resign as a member of the FIFA Executive Committee.

He has also claimed health reasons for his decision to step down, which came just a week after he also resigned as President of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and head of the Organising Committee of the 2014 World Cup.

But Teixeira, who was married to Lúcia Havelange, the daughter of Havelange, for nearly 30 years until they divorced in 1997, is also heavily implicated in a series of corruption scandals, including ISL.

Contact the writer of this story at

Related stories
December 2011: Mihir Bose - IOC's investigation shows willingness to correct the wrongs in sport's governing bodies
December 2011: Havelange is "man all Brazilians should be proud of" says head of Rio 2016
December 2011: David Owen - When all is said and done, Havelange was one of the towering figures of 20th century sport
December 2011: Havelange resigns from IOC after nearly half-a-century as member to avoid expulsion
July 2011: Exclusive - Blatter seeking information on how he can use IOC blueprint to help clean-up FIFA