Russian sports minister confirms attendance of outgoing Fifa president.
Despite ongoing controversies surrounding world football’s governing body, Fifa president Sepp Blatter will attend the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw in St Petersburg on 25 July.
“Of course, he will attend the draw,” Russian sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, said. “The whole of the Fifa executive committee will be there as well as all 209 national federations. Preparations are going as planned.”
The Russian football union also said Blatter would attend. “As a person who knows a few things about Blatter, I am in no doubt that he will attend the draw,” the union’s general secretary, Anatoly Vorobyov, said.
“Blatter has come to Russia 23 years in a row to attend the Commonwealth Cup. However, now there is a very important event in the sporting and social-political calendar. Of course the president of Fifa should attend these events. I am sure that if nothing unexpected happens, Blatter will visit St Petersburg.”
The Commonwealth Cup was created in 1993 as a tournament for the champions of the former Soviet Union republics.
Blatter said earlier this month that he would step down from his post after joint US and Swiss investigations into bribery and corruption at world football’s governing body. Just days earlier the 79-year-old had been re-elected by Fifa Congress.
Swiss authorities are also investigating the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.