Fifa corruption allegations worry sponsors

Sponsors associated with Fifa have expressed concern at the damage allegations of corruption are causing world football's governing body.

Coca-Cola, Adidas, Emirates and Visa have voiced worries at events at Fifa, whose president Sepp Blatter has denied a crisis at the organisation.

But a Coca-Cola spokesperson said: "The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport."

Visa echoed: "The current situation is clearly not good for the game."

It added: "We ask that Fifa take all necessary steps to resolve the concerns that have been raised."

Blatter is expected to be re-elected to his post unopposed after his only rival candidate in Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), withdrew from the race to govern Fifa.

In the lead up to the 1 June vote, which there have been calls to postpone, Bin Hammam has been provisionally suspended by Fifa's ethics committee over allegations that financial incentives were offered to Caribbean Football Union members.

Concacaf president Jack Warner, whose Fifa association governs the region of North, Central American and Caribbean football, has also been provisionally suspended.

And, in a progression of claim and counter-claim, Bin Hammam has appealed his ban, while Warner has revealed an e-mail sent to him from Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke suggesting Bin Hammam had "bought" the 2022 World Cup final for Qatar.

Although Valcke has moved to clarify his remarks in the e-mail, the developments will have fuelled bribery claims over the bidding process to host the 2022 World Cup tournament, which will be held in Qatar.

Qatar beat Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to host the tournament and its bid team has denied any wrongdoing.

"We have every expectation that Fifa will resolve this situation in an expedient and thorough manner," added the Coca-Cola spokesperson.

An Adidas spokesman said: "Adidas enjoys a long-term, close and successful partnership with Fifa that we are looking forward to continuing.

"Adidas will be an official sponsor of Fifa World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Having said that, the negative tenor of the public debate around Fifa at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners."

Emirates airline's partnership with Fifa started with the 2006 World Cup in Germany and its contract as an official sponsor runs until the end of the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

A statement said the company was "disappointed with the issues that are currently surrounding the administration of the sport".

The airline added: "We hope that these issues will be resolved as soon as possible and the outcome will be in the interest of the game and sport in general."

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