FIFA cancels scheduled Blatter news conference

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA canceled a news conference scheduled with President Sepp Blatter without explanation on Friday, fueling the sense of turmoil surrounding football's embattled governing body.

Blatter was set to meet international media at FIFA headquarters after a two-day executive committee meeting.

The news conference was originally scheduled to start at 2 p.m. local time (1200 GMT) but was first pushed back by one hour before FIFA announced it was canceled all together.

He would have faced questions about American and Swiss investigations of corruption in FIFA and a decision to suspend his secretary general, Jerome Valcke, last week. Valcke, who denies wrongdoing, was implicated in a proposed black-market deal to sell 2014 World Cup tickets above face value.

Blatter's answers on a range of subjects could possibly stray into legally difficult areas for FIFA, which has been advised since June by American legal firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

Blatter's Zurich-based lawyer, Lorenz Erni, also arrived at FIFA headquarters earlier Friday as dozens of reporters waited outside.

Another tricky issue was going to be explaining why FIFA has moved its December executive committee meeting from Japan to Zurich at a date yet to be confirmed.

Blatter has avoided traveling to countries which have an extradition treaty with the U.S. since the dual corruption investigations were revealed in May.

Japan has such a treaty, and hosts FIFA's Club World Cup from Dec. 10-20. An executive committee meeting is usually held during that tournament.