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Former FIFA president João Havelange hospitalized in Rio for respiratory problems

FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2010, file photo, João Havelange, a former FIFA president, speaks during an interview at the Soccerex Global Convention in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 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. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2010, file photo, João Havelange, a former FIFA president, speaks during an interview at the Soccerex Global Convention in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 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. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

Former FIFA president João 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 Friday in a brief statement.

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

Hospital officials said they did not expect to update his condition until Saturday.

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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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