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Monday, December 5, 2011
Havelange resigns from IOC

ESPNsoccernet staff

Former FIFA President Joao Havelange has resigned from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) days before an ethics hearing into his conduct.

Havelange, now 95, was president from 1974-1998 before being replaced by current incumbent Sepp Blatter and was the IOC's longest serving member, having joined in 1963.

However, the Brazilian found himself the subject of an IOC investigation for his links with FIFA's former marketing agency International Sport and Leisure (ISL), who went bankrupt with debts of around $300m in 2001.

He has now resigned, after thei BBC's Panorama television programme alleged that Havelange accepted money from ISL for granting lucrative World Cup contracts in 2010.

Thursday's IOC executive board meeting in Lausanne was expected to impose a two-year suspension, or even possible expulsion, for Havelange. But, with his resignation, the ethics case will be dropped.

"FIFA has taken note of Joao Havelange's resignation as IOC Member and the fact that the IOC has closed the case accordingly," FIFA said in a statement to the AP.

"It is important to note that Joao Havelange was appointed honorary president by the FIFA Congress on June 8, 1998. FIFA cannot speculate on any decisions made by Mr. Havelange."

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