Formerly defiant FIFA ringleader Sepp Blatter, who is resigning as president of world football’s scandal-plagued governing body, has decided he’d rather not end up like six of his colleagues, who were arrested in Switzerland last week.
As such, he will not attend an International Olympic Committee meeting in Lausanne next week, the IOC said in a statement.
“He informed the IOC president some time ago he will not be attending,” an IOC official was quoted as saying.
Blatter, as head of FIFA, is an IOC member, which also casts a negative spotlight on the Olympic body, which has had corruption allegations leveled against it in the past. The IOC and FIFA operate very similar selection processes and share many members.
The IOC is slated to hold an executive board meeting in addition to a meeting for the 2022 winter Olympic bid cities between June 7-10.
FIFA claimed in a statement that the decision had been made in April, before the current crisis erupted, yet the motives behind it are clear: Blatter fears he will be arrested and extradited to the United States to face trial.
“Back in April the FIFA President informed the IOC that he would not be attending in person the session in Lausanne. His plans have not changed,” said FIFA.
“Future travel plans of the FIFA President will only be confirmed in due course.”
Those are not likely to include anywhere sympathetic to America, as already indicted senior official Jack Warner announced on Thursday he will fully cooperate with U.S. authorities and give intimate details and names of wrongdoing. That is likely to include Blatter, whom he directly reported to while working at FIFA.