Sepp Blatter rejects talk of avoiding FBI, will visit U.S. in 2016

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he plans to visit the United States in June 2016 and dismissed an ESPN report that he is avoiding the country because of an FBI probe.

Blatter told reporters on Friday he will go the U.S. for the Copa America Centenario being hosted by the country next year from June 3-26.

"I will be there if elected," said Blatter, who is in the final weeks of his re-election campaign before the vote on May 29. "Even if not elected, they will invite me I am sure."

Blatter last visited the U.S. in May 2011, and this week the E:60 Reports documentary "Sepp Blatter and FIFA" said he has purposely stayed away since.

The Swiss official acknowledged a reported FBI investigation into former leaders of the U.S.-based CONCACAF regional body, Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago and Chuck Blazer of the United States, both former members of the FIFA executive committee.

"I know, and this everybody knows, that in the U.S. there is an investigation against former people [who] have been in my government," Blatter said, "but it is nothing against me."

The president said it was not unusual that he had not recently visited the U.S., and noted he has not been to China since the 2008 Olympics. He preferred to visit FIFA member federations who "are in need."

He said if American authorities "want to speak with me there are the international relationships" to help make it happen.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.