Sponsors urge FIFA to put house in order

Sponsors urge FIFA to put house in order

Published May. 31, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Visa and Emirates on Tuesday became the latest leading corporate backers of FIFA to express concern about the corruption scandal within world football's governing body.

They joined fellow World Cup sponsors Coca-Cola and Adidas in voicing disappointment about the crisis that has seen FIFA executives Mohamed bin Hammam and Jack Warner suspended.

''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,'' credit card company Visa said in a statement.

It is rare for sponsors of major international sports bodies to raise concerns about how they are being run, but Visa's statement followed one from Emirates earlier on Tuesday.


''Emirates, like all football fans around the world, is disappointed with the issues that are currently surrounding the administration of this sport,'' Boutros Boutros, senior vice president for corporate communications at the Dubai-based airline, said in a statement.

''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.''

An ethics panel ruled Sunday that it was launching a full investigation into claims that bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president, and Warner, the CONCACAF president, offered $40,000 bribes to Caribbean football leaders ahead of the FIFA presidential election.

Bin Hammam withdrew his candidacy to challenge FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Wednesday's election hours before being suspended on Sunday.

Softdrink giant Coca-Cola has said ''the current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport.''

Sportswear manufacturer Adidas hit out at the ''negative tenor'' of the current situation, adding that it ''is neither good for the sport of football nor for FIFA as an institution and its partners.''