FIFA said its president Sepp Blatter will not attend a US Senate hearing to answer questions regarding the organisation’s corruption scandal.
A Senate subcommittee will meet in Washington on Wednesday to discuss details relating to the growing revelations of corruption within the global football governing body, including precisely what American authorities may have known.
A spokesperson for a senator chairing a consumer protection subcommittee organising the hearings said, “Senator Moran’s office reached out to FIFA to explore the possibility of having Mr Blatter testify but the organisation declined.”
The enquiry is also expected to discuss labour conditions of migrant workers at the building sites for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Blatter did not attend the finals of the women’s World Cup in Vancouver earlier this month, in spite of earlier statements that he would. He told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that he “won’t take any travel risks until everything has been cleared up.”
In May, US authorities indicted nine football officials accused of receiving some $150 million in bribes over 24 years. Seven of those officials were then arrested by Swiss police at a Zurich hotel prior to FIFA’s congress, and are currently awaiting extradition to the United States.
A former US FIFA official, Chuck Blazer, is at the centre of the corruption probe, and has assisted authorities in the investigation. He has pleaded guilty to bribery charges.
FIFA’s beleaguered president will however meet the press on July 20 at the organisation’s headquarters in Zurich, the first time since announcing his resignation on June 2.
The press conference will follow an extraordinary meeting that morning of FIFA’s executive committee at which the election of the international football body’s president will be discussed.
The 79-year-old president had said in June that he would step down at an extraordinary congress between December and March.
swissinfo.ch and agencies