FIFA cancels news conference in Zurich after exco meeting

FIFA suddenly cancelled a news conference in which president Sepp Blatter was due to face tough questions from the media over recent events at world football's governing body.

It later emerged that Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings against Blatter and questioned UEFA president Michel Platini.

The news conference was set to take place after FIFA's 25-member executive committee had met at its headquarters in Zurich.

However it was postponed by an hour to 1300 GMT on Friday, before being cancelled.

German Football Association (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach said there was no indication of Blatter's legal troubles when the meeting was cancelled.

"It was not mentioned with one syllable during the ExCo meeting today," he said. "I left the FIFA building in the belief that Sepp Blatter will comment on the current situation at the scheduled news conference.

"I only learnt later that the Swiss authorities have opened proceedings against him. The news leaves me speechless."

Blatter had been due to face the media in his first news conference since the suspension of FIFA's secretary general Jerome Valcke over allegations that he profited from the sale of tickets.

The FIFA chief was also set to answer questions over corruption probes being carried out by Switzerland and the United States.

At the Exco meeting, FIFA confirmed that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will kick off Nov. 21 and will be played in just 28 days.