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Blatter to attend 2018 SWC draw

06 July 2015, 09:19

Berlin - Sepp Blatter plans to attend the preliminary draw for the 2018 Soccer World Cup later this month in Russia, the outgoing president of the ruling body FIFA told German paper Welt am Sonntag.

"I will go there," Blatter of the July 25 draw in St Petersburg, speaking to the Sunday paper at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

Blatter did not attend the recent under-20 World Cup in New Zealand and did also not travel to Canada for the women's World Cup final later Sunday between the US and Japan.

Blatter may face detention in connection with an American probe into corruption in football which saw the arrest of seven officials - including two FIFA vice-presidents at the time - in Zurich two months ago.

"I will not take any travelling risks as long as not everything has been cleared up," he said.

Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term as president two days after the arrests but said on June 2 he will step down at an extraordinary congress to take place in late 2015 or early 2016. However, there is also speculation that he may stay on after all.

Swiss authorities are also probing FIFA, over the bid and election process of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts Russia and Qatar.

Blatter reiterated in the interview that then state Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Christian Wulff of Germany tried to influence the 2022 election in favour of Qatar for economic reasons.

"There were two political interventions ahead of the election of Russia and Qatar. Mr Sarkozy and Mr Wulff tried to influence their electors. That's why we now have a World Cup in Qatar. Those who made the decision should also accept the responsibility," Blatter said.

Wulff and Sarkozy have denied trying to influence members of the FIFA executive committee which elected the hosts. Franz Beckenbauer, a German FIFA executive at the time, has not revealed for whom he voted. Blatter did not vote for Qatar, according to FIFA.



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