FIFA reputation suffers further blow as sponsors hit out over corruption

Leading sponsors of FIFA, including Adidas and Coca-Cola, have distanced themselves from the organisation as FIFA president Sepp Blatter attempts to contain an ethics scandal.

Coca-Cola: The situation is 'distressing'
Coca-Cola: The situation is 'distressing'

Adidas and Coca-Cola, two of FIFA’s main sponsors, yesterday said the controversy engulfing football's world governing body is bad for its image.

A number of high-ranking FIFA executives have been accused of corruption and an email from FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke emerged suggesting Qatar ‘bought’ the 2022 World Cup.

A spokesperson from Coca-Cola said: ‘The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport.'

Similarly a spokesperson from Adidas added: ‘The negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football not FIFA and its partners.'

VIVA Sport Director, Tony Garner commented: ‘Sponsors are now getting edgy. So if FIFA isn’t concerned about the reputation of the sport, it may well be interested in the money machine grinding to a halt. When that happens it may force Blatter and co to come up with a strategy that addresses the big issue. People don’t trust them.’

As PR Week reported last week, industry experts are urging FIFA to take ownership of the situation and admit it has an internal problem. Jonathan Hemus, founder of Insignia Communications told PRWeek that FIFA had to 'face up to the fact that it has a problem’.

FIFA's reputation was further tarnished over the weekend with the news that current president Sepp Blatter is expected to be re-elected un-opposed. Blatter conducted a heavily criticised press conference yesterday.

Garner added: ‘Leadership is now required. The fact that Blatter is expected to be re-elected unopposed will do little to add to FIFA’s credibility.’

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