PtG Article 27.05.2011

FIFA top sponsor not happy with corruption allegations

Adidas, a FIFA top sponsor for more than 30 years worries about the current corruption allegations of FIFA President Sepp Blatter and other high-ranking members of the governing body.

In a statement quoted by news agency AP, the German sport equipment company raises concerns about the repercussions of the FIFA Ethics Committee hearings to take place in Zurich this Sunday: "the negative tenor of the public debate is neither good for the sport of football nor for FIFA as an institution and its partners."

Luckily for FIFA who has a lot to deal with at the moment, other top sponsors seem to take the case more lightly. When contacted by US Sporting on their possible issues with the FIFA allegations, Coca-Cola and VISA, two FIFA top sponsors issued statements denying that the ethics committee hearing of the FIFA President and his opponent bin Hammam will influence their sponsorship.

Coca-cola denied having any role in the management of FIFA and said:“The Coca-Cola Company has a global sponsorship agreement with FIFA for marketing rights related to football. However, as a company we do not play any role in the management of FIFA or the process for the selection of host countries. We have full confidence in FIFA's management and the long-term positive benefits of bringing the excitement of the sport of football to people around the world."

Visa stated that they have no involvement in administrative issues as the bidding process and current investigations into mismanagement is of no concern to the company:

“Our focus is on our sponsorship of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and other tournaments before then. As a sponsor, we are not involved in the bidding process or other administrative issues faced by the governing body. This matter does not concern or impact our sponsorship rights related to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Our current sponsorship rights extend through the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. As a matter of policy, we do not speculate on business decisions or sponsorship renewals.”