Amid scandal, FIFA holds meeting with Adidas, major sponsors

Soccer’s governing body hopes to maintain business ties despite intense scrutiny.

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Soccer’s governing body is hoping to maintain business ties despite intense scrutiny for recent controversies.

FIFA called a meeting with its major sponsors like Adidas, Coca Cola, AB InBev and others to “discuss current matters.”

The sponsors issued a statement following the meeting saying, “We reiterated our expectations for robust reform, and we will continue to engage with FIFA.”

FIFA made $5.7 billion for the four years through 2014, according to its latest financial report. Its marketing contracts represented 29 percent of the total, the second- highest component after broadcast contracts.

FIFA says it’s in the process of restructuring parts of the organization, notably its scandal-tainted executive board. Nine former and current officials, including two current vice presidents, were named in a U.S. indictment that alleges more than two decades of corrupt practices. Swiss police acting on U.S. extradition requests arrested seven officials in May, two days before FIFA’s presidential election.

(SOURCE: Bloomberg)

Adidas, which has a North American headquarters in Portland, finds itself in a pickle: Public opinion has swung away from FIFA, but soccer remains a stronghold for the struggling apparel company. So, it has a real investment in reform.


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