FIFA sponsors voice concerns over reform process

Published: Wednesday 28th October 2015 by The News Editor

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Four FIFA sponsors have expressed concerns over the lack of independence in the reform process and conditions for migrant workers in World Cup 2022 host country Qatar.

The four companies – Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch Inbev and Visa – gave evidence to MPs sitting on the culture, media and sport select committee.

Visa vice chairman Ellen Richey said the card giant could sever its links if the situation does not improve. The sponsors said they were unhappy that of the 13-strong FIFA reform panel only one – chairman Francois Carrard – was from outside of football.

Richey said: “If we are not satisfied in that regard we will reassess our sponsorship.”

Earlier in October, the four companies all simultaneously called for Sepp Blatter to stand down as president. The MPs were told discussions were held with fellow sponsors Adidas about following suit but it refused to take part.

Peter Franklin, the Coca-Cola director in charge of its sponsorship for the last 20 years, added: “We believe Mr Carrard is independent but 12 out of 13 members were appointed by the national associations and therefore did not meet our expectations of independence.”

Scottish Nationalist MP John Nicolson told the sponsors he was “astonished” none of them had sent a representative to Qatar to check migrant worker conditions in person.

Richey replied saying: “Certainly the conditions in Qatar as reported… are shocking, horrifying and unacceptable. We have made our position very clear to FIFA.”

Published: Wednesday 28th October 2015 by The News Editor

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