Sao Paulo: Ricardo Teixeira stepped down from his post as head of the Brazilian football federation and the 2014 World Cup organizing committee on Monday, ending a contentious 23-year stint in charge of Brazilian football.
Teixeira took a leave of absence for medical reasons last week, but the Brazilian federation announced he has left permanently to look after his health.
The announcement came in a letter of resignation read by new federation and organizing committee president, former Sao Paulo Governor Jose Maria Marin.
"I leave the presidency of the CBF (national federation) permanently with the sense of mission accomplished," Teixeira wrote in the letter. "It's not easy to preside passion. Football in our country is associated with two things: talent and disorganization. When we win, talent is praised. When we lose, it's about disorganization. I did what was within my reach, sacrificing my health. I was criticized in the losses and undervalued in the victories."
Teixeira's term had been expected to end in 2015.
The medical reasons were not officially disclosed, but last year he took leave after being hospitalized becaue of diverticulitis, an inflammation of the inner lining of the intestine.
Teixeira has led the CBF since 1989 and revamped the organization after it struggled financially. Under his command, Brazil won the 1994 and 2002 World Cups and the federation became one of the richest in the world.
But the success was followed by a lot of controversy, and there had been calls for his resignation amid allegations of irregularities in Brazil and abroad. He has always denied any wrongdoing.
The 79-year-old Marin said nothing would immediately change at the federation or World Cup organizing committee with him in command.
Earlier this year, television cameras caught Marin putting a winner's medal in his pocket while presenting them to players in an under-18 tournament in Sao Paulo. He later said the medal was given to him. He was not accused of any wrongdoing by organizers.
Some local federations were against having Marin as president and wanted to be able to pick a successor for Teixeira through elections or by changing the national federation's statutes.
It remained unclear if Teixeira will also leave the FIFA executive committee, which is a position elected through CONMEBOL, the South American football confederation. Teixeira has been an executive member of football's governing body since 1994.