FIFA sponsors urge ‘thorough investigation’ into Qatar allegations

Visa, Adidas and Coca-Cola join Sony in expressing concerns about corruption allegations

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FIFA’s headline World Cup sponsors have expressed concerns about the corruption allegations that have engulfed the awarding of 2022 event to Qatar, adding to growing international criticism and increasing pressure on football’s governing body to act.

Visa and Adidas have joined Sony in demanding that bribery claims against Qatar winning hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

“The negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football or for FIFA and its partners,” said Adidas in a statement. The German sports equipment manufacturer is FIFA’s longest serving partner and has recently renewed its sponsorship of the World Cup till 2030.

Visa added that it expected FIFA to “take the appropriate actions” in responding to the current investigation and its recommendations. Sony had earlier said that it expected the governing body to ensure that disclosures by The Sunday Times were ‘investigated appropriately.’

“Anything that detracts from the mission and ideals of the FIFA World Cup is a concern to us, but we are confident that FIFA is taking these allegations very seriously and is investigating them thoroughly through the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee,” a spokesperson for Coca-Cola told the Guardian newspaper.

The comments come after The Sunday Times published revelations regarding the activities of Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari former FIFA executive committee member – and former Asian Football Confederation president – and his alleged links to the successful Qatar 2022 bid.

FIFA’s sponsors collectively contribute $1.5 billion over a four-year World Cup cycle.

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