As FIFA’s executive committee gather in Zurich to discuss dates for the presidential election, Coca-Cola have called on football’s world governing body to reform itself and bring in independent specialists to oversee its future conduct and help restore trust. The soft drinks giant has been one of a number of sponsors to express concern in recent weeks over the corruption crisis that has rocked FIFA and led to a spate of high-profile officials being arrested.
It is understood to have been one of the reasons why Blatter made the decision to step down just four days after being re-elected in May.
In their strongest statement to date, Coca-Cola, who have been major commercial partners since 1978, have written to FIFA urging it to form an independent commission which, they said, would be “the most credible way for FIFA to approach its reform process and is necessary to build back the trust it has lost.”
Coca-Cola want FIFA to be monitored by “one or more eminent impartial leaders to manage the efforts necessary to help reform FIFA’s governance and its human rights requirements”. In correspondence obtained by the BBC, Coca-Cola adds: “We are calling for this approach out of our deep commitment to ethics and human rights and in the interest of seeing FIFA succeed.”
The remarks, which contrast with a more diplomatic tone previously taken, will add to the pressure on Blatter, who was to discuss his preferred reform programme with his new-look exco today (Monday). A Cola-Cola spokeswoman confirmed: “We have written to FIFA and asked them to support an independent third-party commission for reforms.”
FIFA’s sponsors collectively spend about £1 billion in each four-year World Cup cycle. In the past they have been criticised for not being forceful enough in bringing their influence to bear. But the landscape has now changed.
McDonald’s, another major backer, has also decided to climb off the diplomatic fence, a spokeswoman quoted as saying FIFA had been warned that “recent allegations and indictments have severely tarnished FIFA in a way that strikes at the very heart of our sponsorship.
“As a result, we have expressed our concerns directly to FIFA. We believe FIFA’s internal controls and compliance culture are inconsistent with expectations McDonald’s has for its business partners throughout the world. FIFA must now implement meaningful changes to restore trust and credibility with fans and sponsors alike. The world expects concrete actions and so does McDonald’s.”
- Read about Cola-Cola’s crimes here: http://killercoke.org/
- Read about the problem with McDonalds here: https://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/tags/mcdonalds