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FIFA's Valcke taken to hospital in Rio

October 18, 2012 23:17 IST

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has been taken to hospital during a visit to Brazil to assess progress for the next year's Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

Valcke was admitted to the Samaritano Hospital in Rio de Janeiro with a kidney problem on Wednesday night, a spokesman for the hospital said on Thursday, and will remain there until further notice, although his condition is not considered serious.

The 52-year-old Frenchman had visited the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday, then flew to Porto Alegre on Wednesday to inspect the Beira-Rio stadium before arriving in Rio.

Jerome ValckeDuring his visit to Belo Horizonte, Valcke had voiced doubts that Brazil would have its six proposed stadiums ready in time for the Confederations Cup.

Valcke was briefly declared a persona non grata by the Brazilian government in March for saying Brazil needed a "kick up the backside" to speed up preparations for the World Cup.

His remark severely strained relations between FIFA and Brazil, though they have since improved.

Photograph: Washington Alves/Reuters

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