Joao Havelange Resigns as Member of International Olympic Committee

Joao Havelange, the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee, has resigned from the organization.

The departure of the 95-year-old, who had been a member of the Lausanne, Switzerland-based committee since 1963, was confirmed by the IOC in a text message today.

FIFA, soccer’s governing body for which the Brazilian is honorary president, said in a statement it had “taken note” of his resignation, but “cannot speculate on any decisions made by Mr. Havelange.”

The British Broadcasting Corp.’s “Panorama” program said last year that Havelange received $1 million from ISL, which owned World Cup television rights and collapsed with debts of $300 million in 2001, prompting an investigation by the IOC ethics commission.

Havelange has denied the allegations. FIFA has promised to release documents this month naming officials who took payments from its former marketing partner.

“Regarding the ISL case, the FIFA Executive Committee decided on 21 October to publish the dossier and to submit it to an external committee for investigation,” FIFA said. “This committee will then propose -- if necessary -- sanctions against FIFA members who are guilty of misconduct.”

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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