FIFA urged to halt vote as sponsors voice concern | Pakistan Today

FIFA urged to halt vote as sponsors voice concern

FIFA faced mounting calls to scrap its corruption-tainted presidential election on Tuesday as key sponsors formed a chorus of concern over the governing body’s tarnished image. The English and Scottish football associations issued statements urging FIFA to postpone Wednesday’s election, saying the ballot was no longer viable following the wave of bribery allegations which have rocked the organisation. English FA chairman David Bernstein, who had earlier vowed to abstain from the vote, said a postponement would allow for a credible reform candidate to run against incumbent Sepp Blatter.
Blatter is set to be re-elected unopposed for a fourth term by FIFA’s congress on Wednesday after the suspension of his election rival Mohamed bin Hammam pending investigation into bribery allegations.
But Bernstein said the mounting corruption allegations had prompted the FA to request for the postponement of the election “to give credibility to this process” and allow a “reforming candidate” to stand. The FA also called for a “genuinely independent external party” to make recommendations for reform of FIFA’s decision-making processes.
Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan echoed Bernstein’s remarks. “The events of the last two days, in particular, have made any election unworkable,” Regan said. In a potentially more significant development, four of FIFA’s biggest commercial partners — Coca-Cola, Adidas, Emirates airline and Visa — all spoke out about the scandals embroiling the organisation. “The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport,” Coca-Cola spokesman Petro Kacur told AFP. “We have every expectation that FIFA will resolve this situation in an expedient and thorough manner.” Adidas meanwhile said the “repeated accusations (of corruption) are good for neither the image of football nor FIFA itself”.
A spokesman for Emirates, Boutros Boutros said the airline was “disappointed” by the issues surrounding FIFA. Tuesday’s developments followed the suspension of bin Hammam and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner following allegations they offered bribes in the campaign to oust long-serving supremo Blatter. The suspensions followed weeks of revelations which have alleged several other members of FIFA’s executive committee were involved in corruption during the votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

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