AIRLINE Emirates has become the first top-tier sponsor to end its deal with football’s governing body Fifa following allegations of corruption surrounding bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The world’s largest international carrier said it would not renew its four-year contract with Fifa, which expires at the end of the year, but did not offer a detailed reasoning.
“Emirates can confirm that a decision has been made not to renew the sponsorship agreement with Fifa past 2014,” a spokesperson said. “This decision was made following an evaluation of Fifa’s contract proposal which did not meet Emirates’ expectations.”
Electronics giant Sony, another of Fifa’s six top-tier partners, is also believed to be considering its position. Qatar Air and Samsung could replace Emirates and Sony on the roster, it has been suggested.
Fifa’s ethics committee is due to rule this month on whether any wrongdoing took place in the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, after an investigation by American lawyer Michael Garcia. Russia beat England among others to stage the 2018 tournament, while Qatar was chosen for 2022.
Fifa indicated yesterday, meanwhile, that the Qatar World Cup is likely to be either January-February or November-December.