Major sponsors of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), voiced serious concerns on Wednesday over the corruption allegations against the international football governing body.
Companies including Coca-Cola, Visa, Adidas, Sony, Gazprom and Hyundai/KIA have been flooded with hundreds of calls to put pressure on the federation to rectify the corruption scandal.
“As a sponsor, we expect FIFA to take swift and immediate steps to address these issues within its organization,” credit card giant Visa announced in a statement.
“This starts with rebuilding a culture with strong ethical practices in order to restore the reputation of the games for fans everywhere.”
Coca-Cola has said that “This lengthy controversy has tarnished the mission and ideals of the Fifa World Cup and we have repeatedly expressed our concerns about these serious allegations.”
Cobus de Swardt, managing director of the campaigning group Transparency International, said that, “If you are putting many, many millions of euros into a business, then you definitely have a right and responsibility to demand that you not tainted.”
Companies sponsoring the football governing body are given exposure in stadiums and have the right to use official FIFA trademarks in advertisements.
On Wednesday morning, Swiss police detained several FIFA leaders in a dawn raid as part of a twin corruption inquiry that rocked world football’s governing body.
Two FIFA vice presidents were among the seven people arrested at a luxury hotel in Zurich. All are now facing deportation to the United States over charges of accepting more than $150 million in bribes.
US authorities have confirmed that nine football officials who have been detained among the 14 are now facing up to 20 years in jail if found guilty in the long-running corruption case.
In total seven people are set to face extradition to the US, however six people are planning to appeal the decision.
The Swiss police also seized files and emails at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich as they began investigating the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
The football governing body has also met disapproval by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA).
UEFA has threatened to boycott FIFA if the football giant does not adjourn Friday’s presidential elections in Switzerland
A statement from UEFA following an executive committee meeting heavily criticised the federation and said that the body risks ultimately “killing” football before urging for a “real reform” to protect the game.
“UEFA believes that the Fifa congress should be postponed and that the election for the president should take place within six months,” said Gianni Infantino, UEFA general secretary in the statement.
The decision of the committee on whether to boycott or to take further steps against the federation will be decided at the UEFA member association meeting ahead of the FIFA congress on May 29.