Nicolas Leoz, the 84-year-old president of South American football's governing body, has been taken off intensive care treatment following heart surgery.

Nestor Benitez, a spokesman for CONMEBOL in Asuncion, said Leoz was taken off intensive care on Friday and transferred to intermediate care at Sao Paulo's Hospital Sirio Libanes.

The operation on Thursday to clear an arterial blockage and insert a stent was his fourth heart procedure.

Leoz, a Paraguayan, has headed South American football since 1986 and is a key ally of 80-year-old Julio Grondona, FIFA's senior vice president and the head of the Argentine Football Association.