World Cup sponsors raise concern over Fifa

Sepp Blatter: Fifa president
Sepp Blatter: Fifa president

Coca-Cola has joined Adidas in expressing disquiet about the goings-on at world football's governing body Fifa, which suspended two members over the weekend.

On Sunday (29 May) Fifa's Ethics Committee provisionally suspended vice-president Jack Warner and executive committee member Mohamed bin Hammam over alleged violations of its code of ethics.

The committee is investigating allegations that bin Hammam and Warner offered money to Caribbean Football Union members to vote for bin Hammam in Fifa's presidential elections this week.

At the same time it dismissed all charges against Fifa president Sepp Blatter, after proceedings had been opened at bin Hammam's request.

After his suspension, Warner published an email sent to him by Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke that suggests Valcke believed Qatar "bought" the 2022 World Cup.

Valcke has since said he was not intending to make "any reference to any purchase of votes or similar unethical behaviour" and what he meant was "the winning bid used their financial strength to lobby for support".

Coca-Cola said in a statement: "The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport. We have every expectation that Fifa will resolve this situation in an expedient and thorough manner."

Adidas has previously stated "the negative tenor of public debates is neither good for the sport of football nor for Fifa as an institution and its partners".

Bin Hammam has withdrawn his candidacy for Fifa's presidential election tomorrow, leaving Blatter as the sole candidate.

The other four major World Cup sponsors – Hyundai, Visa, Sony and Emirates – have abstained from commenting.

Read more on Alex Brownsell's blog here

Brand Health Check: Fifa

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