FIFA executive Issa Hayatou to present World Cup trophy
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) FIFA confirms that Senior Vice President Issa Hayatou will present the championship trophy at the Women’s World Cup.
Hayatou also is the head of the African soccer federation. The African body had already emailed The Associated Press concerning Hayatou’s role at the U.S.-Japan final Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver.
FIFA adds that Lydia Nsekera and Victor Montagliani will be on stage for the awards ceremony. Nsekera is on FIFA’s executive committee. Montagliani is president of the Canada Soccer Association.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter is skipping the trip to North America in the midst of a U.S. Justice Department investigation into corruption in soccer’s world body. The inquiry prompted Blatter to announce his intention to resign just four days after being re-elected to a fifth term.
While Blatter has not been charged, American law enforcement authorities have confirmed he is part of the investigation. Traveling for the women’s final would have brought the 79-year-old Blatter to Vancouver and about 25 miles from the U.S. border.
”Until everything is clarified I won’t take any travel risks,” Blatter told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview published Sunday.
The U.S. corruption probe alleges bribery and racketeering worth more than $150 million involving high-ranking FIFA officials over a 24-year span. A separate Swiss federal investigation focuses on possible money laundering linked to the awarding of the World Cups to Russia and Qatar.