Adidas agrees to keep sponsoring scandal-hit FIFA
Adidas has agreed to continue sponsoring FIFA despite lingering concerns about the crisis engulfing world soccer's governing body.
Sepp Blatter, who was re-elected as FIFA president on Wednesday, has been urging key sponsors to retain their trust in the organization, which had to suspend two executive committee members on Sunday over the corruption scandal.
''Adidas enjoys a long-term partnership with FIFA as a sponsor and supplier around their events at all levels of the game and we have agreed to continue this partnership,'' the sportswear giant said in a statement to The Associated Press.
''Adidas will be an official sponsor of FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Having said that, the negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for FIFA including its partners and we hope that FIFA will do its best to reach clarity on the allegations soon.''
A FIFA ethics panel suspended both Mohamed bin Hamman and Jack Warner pending a full inquiry to study evidence that they arranged to bribe Caribbean voters during bin Hammam's presidential challenge. The Qatari withdrew from the contest on Sunday, giving Blatter a clear run to be re-elected for a fourth term on Wednesday.
Adidas was the first of FIFA's leading corporate backers to express concern about the corruption crisis, followed by statements from Visa, Coca-Cola and Emirates Airline.