Emirates to review FIFA sponsorship over Blatter race row

Underfire FIFA President Sepp Blatter
Underfire FIFA President Sepp Blatter

Emirates is reviewing its sponsorship of FIFA while other leading sponsors have failed to publicly support embattled president Sepp Blatter in the wake of his comments about racism in football.

The Dubai-based airline is one of FIFA’s six official partners and is concerned that its brand has been tarnished by Blatter’s remarks and the outrage they have caused.

The row erupted following comments by Blatter which seemed to suggest that racism was an issue that should be settled on the football field.

Blatter told  news channel CNN: "There is no racism [on the field], but maybe there is a word or gesture that is not correct. The one affected by this should say this is a game and shake hands."

Blatter's comments prompted a flurry of outrage and have been condemned by prime minister David Cameron and David Beckham, among others. The government's minister for sport Hugh Robertson called for Blatter to stand down.

Emirates, which also sponsors Arsenal Football Club, is now considering not renewing its sponsorship beyond the Brazil World Cup.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Emirates vice-president Boutros Boutros said: 'We are seriously thinking about not renewing our partnership with FIFA beyond 2014. We don't get into politics but we believe the situation with FIFA went beyond an internal problem and became much bigger.'

Meanwhile another key Fifa partner, Adidas, failed to publicly support Blatter this morning and issued a strong statement denouncing racism in sport.

A spokesperson said: "Adidas doesn’t discuss its sponsorship arrangements as these are confidential. But our position is very clear. Adidas is totally opposed to racism in football and in fact any sport at any level."

The other four key partners are Coca-Cola, Visa, Hyundai/Kia and Sony.

Coca-Cola has publicly come out and said that it is not planning to review its sponsorship of FIFA.

Coca-Cola said: "We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We have also confirmed that we are not reconsidering our sponsorship with FIFA."

A Visa spokesperson said: "As a global company operating in more than 200 countries around the world, Visa is opposed to racism in any form."

Blatter has claimed his comments had been misunderstood.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers