Havelange resigns from IOC

Former FIFA president steps down from International Olympic Committee days before ethics hearing, according to reports.

    Havelange was due to hear the ruling of an IOC ethics committee investigation into allegations of kickbacks in his previous role as head of FIFA [GALLO/GETTY]

    Former FIFA president Joao Havelange resigned from the International Olympic Committee on Sunday, just days before he was to face an ethics inquiry, it was reported by the BBC.

    The 95-year-old, who has been a member of the IOC since 1963, was under investigation for his links with FIFA's former marketing agency, International Sport and Leisure (ISL), which went bankrupt in 2001 with debts of around $300 million.

    A BBC Panorama television investigation alleged in 2010 that the Brazilian had accepted payments from ISL for granting lucrative World Cup contracts.

    Havelange was FIFA president between 1974-98 before he was replaced by Sepp Blatter.

    The Brazilian, who competed at two Olympic Games in 1936 in Berlin as a swimmer and then in the 1952 edition in Helsinki as a member of the water polo team, is credited with turning football in modernising the sport into the moneymaking industry it is today.

    He was also instrumental in bringing the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro and to South America for the first time when the International Olympic Committee elected the city as the host last year in Copenhagen.

    Two other IOC members, International Association of Athletics Federations president Lamine Diack and Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football, will have cases considered by the IOC on Thursday.

    SOURCE: AFP


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