Top sponsors Coca-Cola and Adidas fuel growing Fifa row

Steve Dinneen
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THE CRISIS at world football’s governing body Fifa deepened last night as lucrative sponsors of the embattled organisation became embroiled in the unfolding scandal.

Coca-Cola branded the latest round of bribery allegations against its highest ranking officials as “distressing and bad for the sport.” Adidas added that the storm is “neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners.” Neither was said to be considering removing their sponsorship at this stage but Fifa will be alarmed at the increasingly negative tone being taken against it.

Fifa’s president Sepp Blatter and secretary-general Jerome Valcke were forced to defend an email in which Valcke said Qatar had “bought” the World Cup. He claimed he was referring to the gulf nation’s financial strength.

The email was leaked by suspended member Jack Warner. The only challenger in tomorrow’s presidential election was also suspended over separate bribery allegations and has withdrawn from the race. Sponsors Emirates, Sony and Visa were unavailable for comment last night.