Current leader of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, had declined an invitation from broadcasters to have a live TV debate with fellow presidential candidates ahead of the secret May 29 vote in Zurich.
Blatter, 79, has been in charge of FIFA since 1998 but has been challenged by Prince Ali of Jordan, Luis Figo and head of the Dutch FA Michael van Praag.
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Two British outlets, BBC and Sky, have been told that Blatter would not be taking part in what was being billed as a “fans’ debate” over key issues at FIFA.
All of the other presidential candidates agreed to appear in the TV debate, with Blatter the only contender to turn it down and therefore the event is unlikely to happen.
The debate was planned to take place before the vote on May 29, as FIFA’s 209 federations will vote on their new leader.
Blatter is expected to win the election, his fifth-straight term in charge of world soccer’s governing body, despite overseeing and intensely criticized bidding process for the 2018/2022 World Cups and several Executive Committee members being accused and proven of corruption.