DRINKS giant Coca-Cola and carmaker Hyundai/Kia yesterday joined the chorus of concern among Fifa sponsors at allegations of corruption surrounding Qatar’s bid to stage the 2022 World Cup.
They followed statements on Sunday from Sony, Visa and Adidas, and means that five of the football world governing body’s six main sponsors have now addressed the controversy.
Qatar has strongly denied claims, published by the Sunday Times, that bribes helped to sway Fifa officials when voting for the 2022 tournament hosts. Fifa has hired lawyers to investigate the 2018 and 2022 bid processes.
Coca-Cola said: “Anything that detracts from the mission and ideals of the Fifa World Cup is a concern to us.”
Hyundai/Kia said: “We are confident that Fifa is taking these allegations seriously and that the investigatory chamber of the Fifa ethics committee will conduct a thorough investigation.”
Fifa’s president Sepp Blatter addressed the storm yesterday in Brazil, where the 2014 tournament begins on Thursday, suggesting that negative coverage of Qatar’s election as hosts was motivated by “discrimination and racism”.