Art And Culture

Blatter Under Pressure as Sponsors Cry Foul

Blatter Under Pressure as Sponsors Cry FoulBlatter Under Pressure as Sponsors Cry Foul

Pressure is mounting on beleaguered FIFA boss Sepp Blatter with the game’s major partners demanding the troubled soccer body clean up its act or risk losing sponsorship.

Earlier, more soccer nations around the globe joined Australia in their call for Blatter to resign ahead of Saturday’s election at the game’s headquarters in Zurich.

Support is also growing for the man challenging Blatter, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein from Jordan, skynews reported.

New Zealand Football say they will vote against Blatter. NZF president Mark Aspden says New Zealand will support Blatter’s challenger, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, at the poll in Zurich on Saturday.

Aspden says the events of the past 48 hours have been distressing for all soccer lovers and his organization believes substantive change is now essential within FIFA.

Sponsors Coca-Cola, Adidas, McDonald’s and Visa are pressing FIFA to clean up its act and have called for stronger ethical standards.

  Sponsors’ Reaction

Visa says it may pull its sponsorship if FIFA’s ethical problems aren’t addressed. “Should FIFA fail to do so, we have informed them that we will reassess our sponsorship,” Visa said.

Coca-Cola, which pays an estimated $US30 million a year to be one of five official FIFA Partners, also issued a stern rebuke. “This lengthy controversy has tarnished the mission and ideals of the FIFA World Cup and we have repeatedly expressed our concerns about these serious allegations. We expect FIFA to continue to address these issues thoroughly.”

“McDonald’s takes matters of ethics and corruption very seriously,” the US fast-food company, an official sponsor of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. “We are in contact with FIFA on this matter. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”

Adidas said it would encourage football’s global governing body “to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do.”

More nations are now backing Australia with the Foot Federation of Australia indicating on Thursday they would back Prince Ali in the election.

  Reforms Needed

“FFA believes that profound change within FIFA is needed as soon as possible to address issues of governance and transparency,” FFA chairman Frank Lowy said in a statement.

“The board of FFA has reviewed the manifesto for change proposed by Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein and believes it provides the basis for a fresh start for FIFA.”

Lowy’s statement came soon after he arrived in Zurich amid the ongoing corruption scandal where 14 people, including nine current or former FIFA office holders, were arrested on corruption charges.

The FFA’s stance contradicts that of its parent body, the Asian Confederation, who indicated they will support Blatter in the election.

“Prince Ali has been a really active member of the executive committee and an active proponent of reform at FIFA,” said US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati, from the FIFA meeting in Zurich.