Photo: FIFA President Sepp Blatter faces questions and allegations of bribery continue
As the world soccer organization known as FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football) remains embroiled in controversy over the alleged corruption throughout the organization, namely that revolving around president Sepp Blatter, sponsors are now putting the pressure on to make changes to the federation.
Coca-Cola and Adidas have now been joined by fellow FIFA sponsors Visa Inc, and Emirates Airlines in calling for sweeping reforms to the federation that has recently come under scrutiny for alleged bribery in the presidential election and in the most recent World Cup vote, which many are speculating was bought by Qatar, the winners of the 2022 World Cup bid.
President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, has been the top dog at FIFA since 1998, and as he approached Wednesday vote, he was set to remain the president, as he was running unopposed after his only opponent Mohamed bin Hammam dropped out of the race.
The Switzerland native (FIFA headquarters are in Switzerland) is now facing questions after the head of Asian soccer Mohamed bin Hammam and CONCACAF chief Jack Warner were suspended over bribery allegations.
Also, Qatar has had a number of fingers pointed in its direction, as accusations of having bought the 2022 World Cup arisen, just added fire to the FIFA controversy flame.
As FIFA’s current “difficulties,” as Blatter called them, have moved from the back page to the front, calls for reform from outside the sport have been getting louder.
Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International said FIFA should allow an external inquiry.
“They should postpone the election and really clear up everything, take some time and then hold a new election,” Sylvia Schenk, sports advisor for the Berlin-based watchdog, told Reuters.
Australian Les Murray, who sits on the global soccer governing body’s 13-man ethics committee, called for “complete structural” reform at FIFA, while Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning captain Carlos Alberto Torres led calls for reform from the sport’s most successful country.
“There should be a general change, there are so many good people who could take office,” Carlos Alberto told Reuters.
“I think there should be new people in command of the bodies,” he said in a telephone interview. “With the same people staying (in power) so long there is a vicious circle.”