(Changes ‘formal’ to ‘former’ in para 8)
By Brian Homewood
ZURICH, May 15 (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter said there is no reason for him not to visit the United States and that he plans to go next year when the country stages the Centenary edition of the Copa America.
A documentary aired by ESPN on Tuesday suggested that Blatter was reluctant to travel to the U.S. because of an FBI investigation into the controversial bidding process for the hosting of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
But Blatter dismissed the idea on Friday, telling reporters from international news agencies that he intended to concentrate on visiting national federations with more pressing issues.
“I will be at the Copa Centenario if elected, and even if I‘m not elected, I expect I will still be invited,” said Blatter, who is standing for a fifth term as president at the FIFA election on May 29.
“I am going to visit merely the national associations (who) are in need,” he added.
”If you ask me the last time I was in China, it was at the Olympic Games, in 2008...
”In Germany, since 2011, I have been once, I was invited to the national team reception in Berlin, so I am not taking (avoiding) one country or the other...
“I know that in the U.S. there is an investigation against former people, who have been in my government, there is nothing against me.”
He added that if the FBI wanted to speak to him they could go through international channels.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; editing by Toby Davis