Coca Cola said it is concerned about how FIFA is handling its investigation into corruption allegations involving winning bids by Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Coke’s sponsorship deal is worth $475 million.
A Coca Cola spokesperson said: “Anything that detracts from the mission and ideals of the FIFA World Cup is a concern to us. The current conflicting perspectives regarding the investigation are disappointing. Our expectation is that this will be resolved quickly in a transparent and efficient manner.”
So far only a summary (pdf) of FIFA’s internal investigation report has been made public.
The head of FIFA’s ethics committee, Michael Garcia, distanced himself from the summary and said it misrepresented his investigation.
The English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Belgian, and Danish football federations have all demanded that the full report be published.
McDonald’s and Adidas, two other big sponsors, also expressed concerns about the allegations.
McDonald’s said it is “monitoring the situation” and Adidas said it plans to discuss the report directly with FIFA.
Visa has also publicly criticized FIFA for its handling of the investigation, calling for more “forthright communications.” The company’s sponsorship deal is worth nearly $190 million.
Earlier this month, Dubai-based airline Emirates confirmed it was ending its FIFA sponsorship. Sony is reportedly considering withdrawing its World Cup support.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.