28 May 2015

FIFA to lose millions from sponsors in wake of corruption scandal

Major FIFA sponsor Visa has threatened to withdraw their backing and demanded world football's governing body clean up its act in the wake of the £100million corruption scandal.

Visa said its 'disappointment and concern' were profound and demanded 'swift and immediate' action following Wednesday's dramatic events, which saw a wave of football officials arrested and two investigations launched.

FIFA stands to lose millions if their stable of sponsors turn their back on them and Visa's was the most strongly-worded of the statements released on Wednesday.
It read: 'Our disappointment and concern with FIFA in light of (Wednesday's) developments is profound.

'As a sponsor, we expect FIFA to take swift and immediate steps to address these issues within its organisation. This starts with rebuilding a culture with strong ethical practices in order to restore the reputation of the games for fans everywhere.

'Should FIFA fail to do so, we have informed them that we will reassess our sponsorship.'
Visa is one of five top-tier FIFA 'partners' along with adidas, Coca-Cola, Gazprom and Hyundai.

FIFA's 'partners' pay between £15m and £28m a year for their association with the governing body.

They were dealt a blow late last year when Sony and Emirates Airlines announced they were ending their relationship following allegations that Qatar had used bribes to win the 2022 World Cup.

Visa, adidas and Sony had issued warnings on the eve of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after other string of bribery and corruption allegations, but only Sony withdrew their sponsorship.

German sportswear brand adidas has a long-standing relationship with FIFA and their deal was recently extended until 2030. Visa's contract will run until 2022.

Second-tier World Cup sponsors, including Budweiser and McDonalds, pay FIFA between £6.5m and £16m a year.

In all, FIFA brings in nearly £1bn from its sponsors in every four-year cycle between World Cup finals.

Credit: Adam Shergold/SportsMail

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