Former FIFA President Joao Havelange resigned as honorary president of soccer's governing body in a World Cup bribery case that has tarnished the organization for more than a decade.
FIFA ethics court judge Joachim Eckert said in a ruling published Tuesday by FIFA that the 96-year-old Brazilian resigned on April 18. The resignation had not been made public until now.
Eckert cleared current FIFA President Sepp Blatter of wrongdoing in the case, which involved millions of dollars in kickbacks from World Cup contracts marketed by the ISL agency which collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001.
Blatter said he received the verdict on his own role ''with satisfaction.''
However, he acknowledged that the 12-year-old case, which has clouded much of his presidency, had done ''untold damage to the reputation'' of FIFA.
Havelange, who led FIFA from 1974-98, and his former son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira were guilty of ''morally and ethically reproachable co...