FIFA sponsors wave red card

2011-05-31 15:01

Zurich - Key commercial partners of FIFA brandished the red card on Tuesday at football's world governing body over a welter of corruption allegations, saying they had tarnished the image of the beautiful game.

Coca-Cola, sponsor of the World Cup since 1978, said it found the claims of vote-buying in the build-up to the election for FIFA president "distressing" while Dubai-based Emirates airline voiced its "disappointment".

Sportswear giant Adidas meanwhile warned that not only FIFA but the whole game was being tainted by the graft allegations which have already led to the suspension of two top executives suspended.

And US credit card giant Visa echoed the fears of Adidas by saying the claims were "clearly not good for the game".

"The current situation is clearly not good for the game and we ask that FIFA take all necessary steps to resolve the concerns that have been raised," a Visa spokesperson said.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, whose re-election appears assured after his only challenger was one of those suspended, insisted on Monday that there was no crisis within the governing body and any problems would be dealt with in-house.

But Coca-Cola made clear they expected swift action in a rare public rebuke for the Zurich-based organisation.

"The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport," Coca Cola spokesman Petro Kacur said.

"We have every expectation that FIFA will resolve this situation in an expedient and thorough manner."

Coca Cola are one of six official partners of FIFA along with Adidas, Emirates, Visa, Hyundai and Sony.

The organisation can also boast the likes of Budweiser beer, the Castrol motor oil company, Continental Tyres and fast-food giant McDonalds as sponsors of the World Cup.

Those partnerships and tie-ups have been a key factor in FIFA's financial success, helping the governing body's four-year revenues go above four billion dollars for the first time last year after the World Cup in South Africa.

In a statement, Adidas insisted that recent "events do not bring into question our cooperation" with FIFA but the company made clear its worries about the long-term impact.

"The repeated accusations (of corruption) are good for neither the image of football nor FIFA itself," a spokesperson said.

Some of the most persistent corruption allegations have revolved around the controversial decision to award the tiny Gulf state of Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup, especially as temperatures at the time of the tournament can reach in the mid-40s.

Asian football chief Mohamed bin Hammam, who had been looking to end Blatter's 13-year rule before he was accused of trying to buy votes, is himself from Qatar and a player in the successful bid.

Bin Hammam has fiercely rejected the accusations but Emirates, based almost next door to Qatar in the United Arab Emirates, said the issue could not stay unresolved for long.

"Emirates, like all football fans around the world, is disappointed with the issues that are currently surrounding the administration of this sport," Emirates spokesman Boutros Boutros said in a statement.

"Emirates' sponsorship of all FIFA tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup, aims to help promote football and ensure that it is accessible to the billions of football fans; something FIFA has managed to do extremely well in recent years.

"We hope that these issues will be resolved as soon as possible and the outcome will be in the interest of the game and sport in general."

Sony, the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant which has a 2007-14 contract with FIFA, preferred to keep mum on the issue.

"We have no comment on the ongoing news coverage regarding the FIFA presidential election, and it is not our intention to be involved in this issue at this point in time," a Sony spokesperson said.


  • Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 15:11

    "Crisis, what crisis...?"

      Little Jim - 2011-05-31 15:53

      Everyone knows that organisations like the IOC and FIFA are corrupt as hell. and really, how could Sepp Blatter not know about the corruption when at least 9 out of the last 24 committee members have come forward and said they were on the take. The rot starts at the head and the quicker this clown gets booted, the better for soccer!

      Matt - 2011-05-31 16:33

      Jacaranda FM had it right this morning... on the news "crisis, what crisis" and then they played Supertramp - Dreamer...

      TK - 2011-05-31 17:26

      Crisis, what crisis...?" Speaking like our local politicians, if there was no crisis Blatter wouldn't have gone to DC and other senior officials suspended. Is that normal??

  • nangamso1 - 2011-05-31 15:35

    Joseph please go cause if one have to choose you or sponsors you know the answer.

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-31 18:42

      The sponsors have just said PC things, and there is no threat, contrary to the "red card" headline. This is sour grapes from those who failed to secure WC hostings.

  • Benzo - 2011-05-31 15:47

    Big money breeds big corruption. Big companies have big money. None of the big companies have said: we consider a stop to sponsoring FIFA.

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-31 15:53

      Until we boycott their brands, Visa, Adidas, Coke, Emirates...

      zulufox - 2011-05-31 16:41

      lol @Rob van den Heuvel ... can you really boycott Visa, Adidas, Coke, Emirates? What are you gonna use? RCI credit card, Pepsi, New Balance, Air Kenya

      Kobus - 2011-05-31 17:14

      Ha ha Rob! Now you are farting against the wind.

  • Blackass_the_knight - 2011-05-31 15:47

    Sepp Mogabe - Long live the king

  • Chris Khumalo - 2011-05-31 15:50

    This was always coming, time for a change

  • POLLENYS - 2011-05-31 16:01

    FIFA and IOC more corrupt than IAAF?

      Pernosco - 2011-05-31 16:45

      It is a tie!

  • supafly - 2011-05-31 16:03

    Sure, the sponsors are concerned, but don't be fooled to believe they'll walk away from FIFA, cause they know that they can easily be replaced.If it had been our PSL, yes it would have been a crisis, but our PSL is not the 500 pound Gorila, in the room that FIFA is. Whoeva thinks FIFA would bow down to England's untested allegations, is as guilty as a three rand coin. If you feelings aside, you'd see exactly what I see. This is nothing more than a public relations flop, which they'll soon put a positive spin on. Watch this space!

  • Bob - 2011-05-31 16:04

    Our president blatter is innocent n i don c why he shud go.triesman tried 2 tarnish fifa wit accusations his own f.a refuted.he dealt wit dis whole thing as leader.2 ppl r suspended.ppl say he shud go bcos he is leading 4 a long tym.lets not foget he gets voted.wat is de crisis.fifa's financial position is gud under his leadership.wat is he guilty of?if he bribed any1 2 be president he shud go but he is'nt.

  • MacDaKnife - 2011-05-31 16:09

    Wow never thought FIFA would be in this crisis. Crisis. What crisis by Blatter means there has to be a crisis if this is affecting the sponsors of FIFA.

  • Gorilla - 2011-05-31 16:16

    When the money gets worried, people suddenly take note. Show dem visa, show dem.

  • willieman - 2011-05-31 16:22

    Sepp you are very arrogant

  • Nintendo - 2011-05-31 16:45

    HMMMM???? read this and tell me English has changed:Sportswear giant Adidas meanwhile warned that not only FIFA but the whole game was being tainted by the graft allegations which have already led to the suspension of two top executives suspended.

  • Tmans - 2011-05-31 16:48

    Think Blatter is a very smart old man because media have no room to play around with Blatters name in press & England need to know that we also felt the same by the time we lost the bet for 2006 so they need to stop making allegations without any proof because the rule is standing if anyone has evidence that will lead to truth then let him come forward if none then the allegations are void.

  • amabok - 2011-05-31 16:49

    What crisis? Blatter sounds like Zuma...he will no doubt be welcomed in South Africa along with Gaddaffi as enlightened and transformative individuals

      Kobus - 2011-05-31 17:17

      Yeah....Zuma has probably offered the Libyan a university job in SA. Maybe Blatter too.

      nn.prv - 2011-06-01 08:05

      Now ,what has Zuma done..Did i miss the headlines?

  • Southernwrit - 2011-05-31 16:52

    Boy are we glad that our SWC is behind us imagine this fracas this time last year ...

  • Coconut - 2011-05-31 16:53

    Just look at Uncle Sepp's eyes and you can see corruption a mile away. I can guarantee if an international audit was done on his assets BIG questions would be asked. He and most of his cronies are as crooked as the letter Z. He is a politician, not in the true sense of the word, and all politician are just as crooked. Big money the bigger the crooks.

  • possum - 2011-05-31 17:17

    Do yourselves a favour & read the book "FOUL" by an investigative journalist. Blatter tried to have it banned. Stunning read!!

  • asdasd - 2011-05-31 20:11

    = = = = = = = Air Jordan (1-24) shoes $45 Women’s prada sandals $ 45 CK men Underwear $16, Armani Men Underwear $18 Nike shox (R4, NZ, OZ, TL1, TL2, TL3) $42 Handbags ( Coach Lv fendi D&G) $36 T-shirts (polo, ed hardy, lacoste) $20 Jeans (True Religion, ed hardy, coogi)$30 Sunglasses ( Oakey, coach, Gucci, Armaini)$16 New era cap $12 A&F Shirt $18, Gucci t-shirt $20, Polo t-shirt $20 Gucci shoes $42 ,prada shoes $40 NBA jerseys $33 ,NHL jerseys $29 YSL shoes $85 NBA Jersyes $33, NHL jerseys $45, NFL jerseys $43 Gucci boot $45, Dior Boot $45 Bikini (Ed hardy, polo) $18 FREE SHIPPING . Accept paypal payment, accept Credit card payments, electronic check payments. = = = = = = =

      nn.prv - 2011-06-01 08:06

      pap & fleis R 12.00 /plate

  • FerretGee - 2011-05-31 21:23

    Simple answer is for Coca Cola, Visa, Emirates and Addidas to refuse to pay any more money until a whole new committee is elected, preferably with input from fans around the world. There will be no football if the sponsors close theier bank vaults. MAybe that will get Blatter out for good!

  • jerry n - 2011-06-01 06:45

    Crisis,what crisis, we have always been corrupt,so we know no different.... JERRY (UNOFFICIAL FIFA SPOKESMAN)

  • Aubriano - 2011-06-01 10:15

    The sponsors will never pull out and one can see from the comments made.It's all about FIFA having to sort out their problrem within. Japan prefer not to even comment (business related decision). They know that other sponsors are also warming up waiting for their substitution chance.

  • pages:
  • 1