FIFA to receive update on investigations

2015-09-22 21:00
Sepp Blatter (File)

Berlin - FIFA's executive committee will be given an update of the Swiss and US investigations surrounding football's world governing body when they meet in Zurich this week.

FIFA may also alter scheduling for the coming months by selecting a new date and venue for its next executive committee meeting, originally set for December 17 and 18 in Japan during the club World Cup.

The change comes amid reports that FIFA president Joseph Blatter, who chairs the executive committee, was reluctant to visit countries which have an extradition treaty with the United States.

Since the arrests of high-ranking football officials in May, Blatter, 79, has left Switzerland only once, to attend the 2018 World Cup qualifying round draw in Russia in July.

Blatter has denied any wrongdoing and has not been named in the investigations which has so far led to US indictments of 14 people including nine former football officials and five sports marketing executives on racketeering charges.

US attorney general Loretta Lynch said in Zurich on September 14 more charges could follow "against individuals and entities" in the investigations.

Asked if Blatter was a target of investigations, Lynch said she did not wish to comment.

FIFA was rocked when ahead of its congress in Zurich on May 29, seven football officials were arrested as part of the US investigation, including two FIFA vice-presidents at the time.

Swiss authorities are also investigating the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes in a separate probe.

This week's executive committee meeting comes a week after the suspension of FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, who has been replaced by his deputy, Markus Kattner.

FIFA suspended Valcke with immediate effect saying it had "been made aware of a series of allegations involving the Secretary General and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee."

Blatter was re-elected FIFA president at the May 29 FIFA congress for a fifth term but said four days later he would step down.

A new president is to be elected on February 26 at an extraordinary congress in Zurich.

Preparations for that meeting and its agenda are on the executive committee agenda.

Other items listed are an update on preparations for the 2018 World Cup from UEFA president Michel Platini and organizing committee chief Vitaly Mutko, while Kattner will give an update on preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.


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