(WFI) FIFA and the IOC are refusing to explain why president Sepp Blatter is absent from a key Olympic vote in Lausanne today.
Blatter returned to Zurich from Brazil on Tuesday after witnessing the host nation’s stunning 3-0 victory over Spain in Sunday’s Confederations Cup final.
He was scheduled to attend the IOC Extraordinary Session in Lausanne on Wednesday for the presentations of 2020 Olympic bid cities at the Beaulieu convention centre and today for the vote on the 2018 Youth Olympic host city.
Buenos Aires, Glasgow and Colombia’s Medellin are vying to stage the third edition of the Youth Olympics, which has grown in stature since the launch event in 2010.
As an IOC member, the Swiss is expected to be in attendance for such votes unless circumstances such as illness prevent him from doing so.
But the 77-year-old Swiss was a no-show. He was among 14 absentees listed by the IOC, which also included Confederation of African Football boss Issa Hayatou.
When asked by INSIDER what reason FIFA had given for Blatter’s absence, an IOC spokesman said: “You’d have to contact FIFA directly on this one.”
So INSIDER approached FIFA.
A FIFA spokesman said: “Due to other commitments which had been scheduled beforehand the FIFA president won’t be able to participate in the IOC Session.”
Yet FIFA and Blatter have known about the crunch IOC meeting for nearly a year. The IOC set the dates for the 2020 candidate cities briefing and 2018 Youth Olympic vote in 2012.
Pressed by INSIDER about what ‘other commitments’ Blatter was attending to, the FIFA spokesman declined to explain, adding only: “We can inform you that the IOC was informed a few weeks ago and therefore the FIFA president is clearly excused.”
Blatter appears to have no health worries; he flew to Brazil for the opening of the Confederations Cup, then made an unexpected visit to Turkey for the U-20 World Cup before returning to Brazil for the semi-finals and final.
His agenda, posted on FIFA.com, shows that he is meeting Moya Dodd, Australia’s newly co-opted female FIFA Executive Committee member, on Friday before embarking on an official visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel this weekend.
By INSIDER’s Mark Bisson
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