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Sponsors urge Fifa to 'win back trust' after Blatter's resignation
[WASHINGTON] Key sponsors of global football urged Fifa to act urgently to regain public trust on Tuesday, after the soccer governing body's president Sepp Blatter resigned under a corruption cloud.
Coca-Cola called Blatter's decision "a positive step for the good of sport, football and its fans."
"Our expectation remains that Fifa will continue to act with urgency to take concrete actions to fully address all of the issues that have been raised and win back the trust of all who love the sport of football," the soft drink group said in a statement.
Credit card giant Visa, which last week warned it might withdraw its sponsorship if Fifa scandals continue, said Blatter's resignation, just days after he was reelected the group's president, was "a significant first step towards rebuilding public trust." "But more work lies ahead," the company added.
"We repeat, however, that it is our expectation that Fifa will take swift and immediate steps towards addressing the issues within its organisation to quickly rebuild a culture with strong ethical practices that will restore the reputation of the games for fans around the world."
Coke and Visa are among several global businesses which pay an estimated US$30 million a year each to be official partners of Fifa, giving them the right to promote their products in football games and other events around the world.
Several of them have criticized Fifa over the past two years over reports of mismanagement and bribery that have encircled the organisation, worrying that the scandals will tarnish their own brands by association.
The other official Fifa partners are sportswear firm Adidas, Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom and carmakers Hyundai and Kia.
In addition, McDonald's and Budweiser have paid generously to sponsor the next World Cup in Russia.
Adidas, the sporting goods giant with one of the longest commercial associations with Fifa, said on Tuesday it welcomes the organisation's "commitment to change".
"The Adidas Group is fully committed to creating a culture that promotes the highest standards of ethics and compliance," it said.
"Today's news marks a step in the right direction on Fifa's path to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do."
In a statement McDonald's rued that the allegations of corruption within Fifa "have overshadowed the game and taken away from the sport, players and fans." "Football has the unique ability to bring the world together while positively impacting communities and economies," it said.
"We're hopeful that the changes being implemented within Fifa will be a big first step in positively reforming the organisation and gaining back trust from fans worldwide."