Friday 21 October 2016

FIFA: Scandal deterring new sponsorship deals

FIFA has admitted the corruption scandal is deterring new World Cup sponsors from signing up and has organised a summit with existing partners to take place in August.

No replacement has been signed up to replace Emirates while none of the 20 regional sponsorship slots have been agreed. FIFA's secretary general Jerome Valcke told a news conference in St Petersburg: "The current situation doesn't help to finalise any new agreements - that is a fact. And I'm sure until the election on February 26 there will not be any major announcements."

The head of leading FIFA sponsor Visa has delivered a stinging attack on Sepp Blatter claiming there can be no meaningful reforms until he leaves as president of the organisation.

Blatter is insistent he will remain in the position until the election of his successor on February 26 and this week announced a task force to bring in reforms.

But Visa chief executive Charlie Scharf said FIFA's response to the corruption crisis had been "wholly inadequate" and joined fellow sponsors Coca-Cola in demanding a fully-independent reform commission. Scharf added: "We believe no meaningful reform can be made under FIFA's existing leadership."

Valcke said sponsors would be reassured of the new steps to introduce reforms - via an independently-headed reform task force - at the meeting next month.

He added: "The main FIFA partners and FIFA's marketing and legal department have to make sure from their side they know of the additional reform process and that it has to be an independent body and what the composition of the task force will be."

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