Sepp Blatter, the head of FIFA which is mired in corruption allegations, told a German newspaper Sunday that he won’t take travel risks until the situation is “cleared up”.
“As long as not everything is cleared up, I will not take any travel risk,” Blatter, 79, said, without giving details, in comments reported by Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
He announced on June 2, just days after being re-elected, that he would step down from the FIFA presidency at an extraordinary congress to be held between December this year and March 2016.
The decision followed a crisis that engulfed FIFA with 18 people indicted in the United States on football-related corruption charges involving millions of dollars in bribes.
Blatter has repeatedly pleaded his innocence and that of FIFA.
Blatter will not attend the final of the Women’s World Cup in Canada later Sunday, his US lawyer said last week.
It is the first time since Blatter’s election as FIFA president in 1998 that he has missed the climax of the showpiece event.
However Blatter indicated to Welt am Sonntag that he did plan to travel to Russia at the end of the month for the draw for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
He also told the German newspaper there had been “political interventions” over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.
“Before the assignment of the World Cup to Russia and Qatar there were two political interventions,” Blatter said.
“The Misters (Nicolas) Sarkozy and (Christian) Wulff tried to influence their electoral delegates,” he said referring to the former French and German presidents.
He claimed that the German Football Association (DFB) had received a recommendation from the former president “that Germany vote for Qatar because of economic interests”. – Agence France-Presse