Report: Emirates ending sponsorship with FIFA
One of FIFA's six partners is ending its sponsorship agreement with the international soccer governing body, according to a report from The Guardian.
The airline Emirates could be followed by Sony in cutting ties with FIFA, the report says.
News of Emirates' breakaway comes as officials meet to discuss the schedule of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Matches may be moved to the winter, despite potential scheduling conflicts with domestic leagues.
Emirates reportedly indicated its sponsorship would conclude this year; meanwhile Sony is "reviewing its position," the report says. Qatar Airways and Samsung have reportedly emerged as potential replacement candidates for Emirates and Sony.
Qatar Airways is owned by the Qatari government, which has faced criticism over work conditions for laborers tasked with building stadiums for the 2022 tournament. The government has admitted that hundreds of migrant workers have died there over the past two years.
Several of FIFA's sponsors have issued statements voicing concerns over allegations of corruption within FIFA.
Former United States attorney Michael Garcia prepared a report following an investigation into potential wrongdoing in the bidding process for the 2018 (Russia) and 2022 cups.
Despite requests from Garcia and others, FIFA has refused to release the full report, but ethics chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert said a statement evaluating aspects of the report is expected to be released this month.
Emirates has a large presence in the soccer world. The airline notably sponsors the kits of Real Madrid, Arsenal, AC Milan and PSG, as well as Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.
- Chris Johnson