RIO DE JANEIRO: Joao Havelange, former long-time FIFA president, is shortly to leave the intensive care unit of the Samaritano Hospital after treatment for an infection in his right ankle.

A hospital statement said that the 95-year-old is in stable condition and was being transferred to a semi-intensive care unit. He had “responded well to treatment.”

Havelange was admtited on March 18 because of septic arthritis, a bacterial infection which affects joints. He was president of FIFA from 1974 to 1998 and a long-serving member of the International Olympic Committee until his resignation last December ahead of an ethics panel hearing into his alleged receipt of illicit payments from former FIFA and IOC marketing partner ISL.

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