FIFA sponsor and American beverage giant Coca-Cola has requested a third-party commission to oversee reforms within soccer's governing body.
According to BBC Sports' Dan Roan, Coca-Cola told FIFA on July 9 that it wants an independent, outside group to help with internal reforms in wake of the corruption scandal that rocked world soccer at the end of May 2015. The company has formally requested that FIFA support the idea.
Per the report, Coca-Cola wants “one or more eminent impartial leaders to manage the efforts necessary to help reform FIFA's governance and its human rights requirements.”
In correspondence obtained by the BBC, Coca-Cola says: "We believe that establishing this independent commission will be the most credible way for Fifa to approach its reform process and is necessary to build back the trust it has lost."
Sponsor pressure on FIFA at last. If others follow Coca Cola, hard to see how Blatter/Exco can resist idea of independent reform commission— Dan Roan (@danroan) July 17, 2015
According to the report, the International Trade Union Confederation called for other FIFA sponsors including Visa, Adidas and McDonalds to join Coca Cola in taking a stand.
McDonald's issued an official statement to SI.com Friday detailing its stance on the matter, also pressing FIFA for change.
“At McDonald’s, we know our customers around the world are passionate about football, and we share their enthusiasm. That’s why we’ve sponsored the World Cup globally for more than 20 years. But recent allegations and indictments have severely tarnished FIFA in a way that strikes at the very heart of our sponsorship.
“As a result, we have expressed our concerns directly to FIFA. We believe FIFA internal controls and compliance culture are inconsistent with expectations McDonald’s has for its business partners throughout the world. We are not satisfied with FIFA’s current handling of the recent incidents that go clearly against McDonald’s culture and values.
“FIFA must now implement meaningful changes to restore trust and credibility with fans and sponsors alike. The world expects concrete actions and so does McDonald’s.”
Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter will reportedly discuss his reform plans with a FIFA executive committee on Monday.
- Jeremy Woo