Sepp Blatter has been president of Fifa since
Fifa president Sepp Blatter will not resign despite
major sponsors Coca-Cola, Visa, Budweiser and
McDonald’s calling for him to go immediately.
The four each issued statements saying Blatter
should quit after Swiss criminal proceedings were
opened against him last week.
Coca-Cola took the first step, saying: “Every day
that passes Fifa’s image and reputation continues
McDonald’s said Blatter going would be “in the
best interest of the game”.
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The 79-year-old is accused by Swiss prosecutors
of signing a contract that was “unfavourable to
Fifa” and making a “disloyal payment” to Uefa
president Michel Platini, but denies any
In a statement released through his lawyers on
Friday, Blatter said resigning now “would not be
in the best interest of Fifa, nor would it advance
the process of reform”.
Budweiser’s parent company, AB InBev, said it
considered Blatter “to be an obstacle in the
reform process”, while Visa said it would be in
“the best interests of Fifa and the sport” for the
Swiss to resign immediately.
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke
described Friday’s developments as a “game-
He added: “It doesn’t matter what Mr Blatter
says now. If the people who pay for Fifa want a
change they will get a change. For those of us
who want fundamental change, this is good
BBC sports editor Dan Roan
“The dramatic and co-ordinated intervention of
these powerful US sponsors – including one of
Fifa’s oldest partners, Coca-Cola – heaps yet
more pressure on Sepp Blatter, and adds to
the sense of chaos that now surrounds world
football’s governing body.
“However, some will ask whether or not these
corporations are prepared to back up their
words with actions. Will they actually withdraw
their sponsorship if Blatter continues to defy
them? With the threat of rival companies
taking their place, many suspect they will not.
It is also highly unlikely that Fifa’s other non-
US sponsors – Hyundai/Kia, Gazprom and
Adidas – will join the demands for him to quit
“There is no easy solution here for Fifa. If
Blatter was finally forced out, next in line to
take over is Fifa senior vice-president Issa
Hayatou, a man who in 2011 was reprimanded
by the IOC over alleged bribes. The calls for a
fully independent, external reform commission
get louder every day.”
Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term as
president of world football’s governing body in
May, but the election was overshadowed when
seven Fifa officials were arrested in dawn raids
at a five-star Zurich hotel at the request of the
The US later indicted 14 current and former Fifa
officials and associates on charges of “rampant,
systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption following a
major inquiry by the Federal Bureau of
Blatter then announced he would be stepping
down as president, but not until February 2016.
On Monday, Blatter said through lawyers he
would not resign before then, despite criminal
proceedings being opened against him.
He has said the 2011 £1.5m payment made to
Platini, the head of European football’s governing
body, was “valid compensation and nothing
Platini, 60, has said he received the payment for
work as Blatter’s technical advisor between 1999
and 2002 and has written a letter to Uefa
members denying any wrongdoing.
Who are Fifa’s partners and sponsors?
Adidas: German sports clothing, footwear and
Budweiser: American pale lager produced by
Coca-Cola: American multinational beverage
Gazprom: Russian global energy company
Hyundai: South Korean multinational
McDonald’s: World’s largest chain of
hamburger fast food restaurants founded in
Visa: American multinational financial services
The contract described by Swiss prosecutors as
“unfavourable to Fifa” is thought to refer to a
2005 TV rights deal between Fifa and Jack
Warner, the former president of Concacaf, the
governing body of football in North and Central
America and the Caribbean.
According to an investigation by Swiss
broadcaster SRF in September, the deal allegedly
resulted in a multi-million pound profit for
Meanwhile, a separate Swiss investigation is
looking into the bidding process for the 2018 and
2022 World Cups, which will be held in Russia
and Qatar respectively.