ZURICH • A United States Senate panel invited Fifa president Sepp Blatter to answer questions at a hearing today about a corruption scandal that has badly tarnished football's global governing body but Fifa declined on his behalf.
"Senator Moran's office reached out to Fifa to explore the possibility of having Mr Blatter testify but the organisation declined," said Garrette Turner, spokesman for Senator Jerry Moran, the chairman of the consumer protection sub-committee which is holding the hearing.
The 79-year-old Swiss did not attend the final of the recent Women's World Cup in Vancouver but has said that he intends to be in Russia in late July for the draw for qualifying games for the 2018 World Cup.
Also missing from the hearing will be US Soccer Federation (USSF) president Sunil Gulati, who is a member of Fifa's executive committee representing the North America region.
The USSF will be represented instead by chief executive officer and secretary general Dan Flynn.
The other witnesses include Michael Hershman, a private investigator who served on Fifa's independent governance committee from 2011 to 2013, and Andrew Jennings, a British investigative journalist who led efforts to expose corruption in Fifa.
Blatter is set to face the media in Zurich on Monday for the first time since he announced last month that he would step down as Fifa president.
He and secretary general Jerome Valcke will take part in a news conference after an executive committee meeting which will set the date for the extraordinary Fifa congress and presidential election.