Sepp Blatter will miss the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur to concentrate on FIFA business N©Getty Images

Sepp Blatter is to miss next week’s 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Kuala Lumpur.

With dark clouds swirling over world football’s governing body since late May, when a number of top football officials were arrested in Zurich in dramatic dawn raids ahead of the FIFA Congress, the FIFA President’s decision is understood to be attributable to important business he has to attend to back at base.

A new series of organisational reforms, to be approved at the Extraordinary Elective Congress on February 26 that is expected to be Blatter’s FIFA swansong, was announced following yesterday's FIFA Executive Committee meeting.

A new task force with a “neutral” chairman needs to be assembled as part of this process.

An inveterate traveller throughout his 17 years in football’s hot-seat, Blatter, 79, has appeared to be cutting back on his globe-trotting in recent weeks.

He did not, for example, travel to Canada to present the Women’s World Cup to the victorious United States team on July 5, although he is expected to head to St Petersburg this week for the preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Russia.

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Sepp Blatter did not travel to Canada to present the trophy to the winners of the FIFA Women's World Cup ©Getty Images

The absence of Blatter, who has been an IOC member since 1999, means that the electorate in the July 31 vote that will choose either Almaty or Beijing as host of the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will number at most 94, and quite likely fewer.

There are currently exactly 100 full IOC members.

In addition to Blatter, who also missed the Candidate City Briefing last month, the three current Chinese IOC members – Zaiqing Yu, Yang Yang and Lingwei Li – will not vote, with IOC President Thomas Bach almost certain to pass up his voting entitlement also.

South Korea's Lee Kun-hee will also definitely be missing as he is still in hospital following a heart attack suffered in May 2014. 

The Session is set to run from July 31 to August 3.

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