Four Major Sponsors Call For FIFA President To Resign Immediately, He Refuses

Sure, sure, the president of global soccer association FIFA is under criminal investigation in Switzerland, but that doesn’t mean that he should make any rash decisions, like resigning in advance of the emergency presidential election in February. Now some of FIFA’s deep-pocketed sponsors are calling for Blatter to resign immediately, and he… refuses.

What happened this week that sponsors are so upset about? Well, there’s the investigation of Blatter for “suspicion of criminal mismanagement and suspicion of misappropriation” of FIFA funds, specifically involving a large payment made to the head of soccer federations in Europe, who happens to be one of the candidates running to replace Blatter as president next year.

Then there was the sort of feeble symbolic move by FIFA of banning former vice-president Jack Warner from soccer for life. Yes, now, even though he was indicted on corruption charges in the United States four months ago, and resigned from his posts four years ago.

Sponsors that have spoken up as of this posting are Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Visa, and Budweiser, all longtime sponsors: Coca-Cola has been one on and off since 1950. While the sponsors haven’t publicly threatened to back out of their deals, all condemned FIFA’s behavior and asked that Blatter step down immediately.

Coke’s statement was the first:

For the benefit of the game, The Coca-Cola Company is calling for FIFA President Joseph Blatter to step down immediately so that a credible and sustainable reform process can begin in earnest. Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach.

How many dollar menu items and Lime-A-Ritas will poor John Oliver have to consume this time?

FIFA President Sepp Blatter defies calls from FIFA sponsors to quit immediately [U.S. News and World Report]