Fifa’s $35m annual income from Sony’s sponsorship could be about to come to an end, as the Japanese tech giant opts not to renew its contract with football’s governing body.
According to leading Japanese business paper Nikkei Asian Review, Sony will shift sponsorship funds towards completing structural reforms after deciding not to extend its $277m (33bn yen) eight-year contract once it expires later this year.
Sony would become the second major sponsor to end its deal with Fifa following allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Earlier this month the Emirates airline decided not to renew its four year contract with the embattled organisation. Neither Emirates nor Sony has provided a detailed reasoning behind their decision.
“We decline to comment on our future relationship”, a Sony spokesperson said.
A report in this weekend’s Sunday Times suggested that Coca-Cola, another major Fifa partner, was disappointed in Fifa’s handling of an investigative report into the bidding process for the forthcoming World Cups in Qatar and Russia.
Michael Garcia, Fifa’s chief ethics investigator, accused Fifa of misrepresenting the findings of his 18-month inquiry in its published report of his investigation into corruption claims.
In September, Sony was forced to issue a profit warning after being hit with a 180bn yen impairment for its mobile phone division. The company increased its forecast loss for the year to 230bn yen.
Sony was an official partner of the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, as well as 38 other Fifa tournaments. The Fifa-licensed video game continues to be one of the best-selling games on Sony’s games console.
South Korea’s Samsung is cited by the Nikkei as a potential replacement as Fifa’s tech sponsor.