FIFA president Sepp Blatter denied an ESPN report that he is avoiding the United States because of an FBI investigation and said he will visit the country in 2016.
ESPN's E:60 newsmagazine program reported Tuesday that "Blatter has decided, due to the FBI investigation, that it would be unwise to set foot on American soil."
The FBI is investigating corruption charges against FIFA with regard to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids. FIFA commissioned a report to investigate the bid process but found no improprieties. A summary of the report was released publicly, but the FBI is reportedly attempting to secure the full report.
Blatter said Friday that he will attend the 2016 Copa America Centenario in the U.S. despite the investigation.
"I will be there if elected," Blatter told reporters, according to the Associated Press. "Even if not elected, they will invite me I am sure."
Blatter has been FIFA's president since 1998 and is widely expected to be reelected later this month. FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, retired Portuguese player Luis Figo and Dutch FA president Michael van Praag will oppose him.
- Dan Gartland