A number of high-profile sponsors are mounting immense pressure on world football’s governing body Fifa, following its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Sony, Adidas, Coca Cola, Visa and Hyundai/Kia are demanding Fifa to conduct an investigation into corruption claims in the bidding process for the tournament.
A total of five Fifa’s six main sponsors have issued statements relating to the Qatar bid.
President Joseph Sepp Blatter has called for time, in response to the clamour for investigation.
Never ignoring media reports on ethics allegations in football. But let the Ethics Committee work!
— Joseph S Blatter (@SeppBlatter) June 7, 2014
“The negative tenor of the public debate around Fifa at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners,” German sportswear company Adidas said in a statement.
Adidas’ sponsorship deal with the governing body runs until 2030.
Coca Cola added: “Anything that detracts from the mission and ideals of the Fifa World Cup is a concern to us.”
“We are confident that Fifa is taking these allegation seriously and that the investigatory chambers of the Fifa ethics committee will conduct a thorough investigation,”car manufacturer Kia, which shares sponsorship for the World Cup with affiliates Hyundai, said in a statement.
Qatar beat off competition from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to the hosting right of the 2022 World Cup in December 2010.
Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce has already said he would support a re-vote if allegations of corruption are proven.
Fifa issued a statement from Thierry Weil, its marketing director, in an attempt to calm the situation.
“We are in constant contact with our commercial affiliates, including Adidas, Sony and Visa, and they have 100% confidence in the investigation currently being conducted by Fifa’s independent ethics committee,” said Weil.
“Our sponsors have not requested anything that is not covered by the on-going investigation by the ethics committee.”
Last week, The Sunday Times newspaper alleged that Qatar’s former Fifa vice-president, Mohamed bin Hammam, paid £3m to football officials around the world to help win support for Qatar in the run up to the World Cup vote in December 2010.
Now Bin Hammam is facing claims he used his contacts in the Qatari royal family and government to arrange deals and favours to secure the tournament for his country.
Caf president Issa Hayatou is among the ExCo members indicted by the reports to have allegedly taken bribe from the Qatari football official. He has immediately denied any form of wrong doing in the voting process.
Bin Hamman was banned from football for life in 2012 for his part in another corruption scandal.
Culled from the BBC