FIFA sponsors welcome Blatter’s resignation

New York, June 3 (IANS) All major FIFA sponsors have welcomed Sepp Blatter’s decision to step down as president of football’s world governing body.

Blatter’s decision to resign comes amid a widespread corruption scandal. However, both Visa and Coca-Cola repeated warnings that they expected a swift overhaul at FIFA, reports bbc.com.

McDonald’s said it hoped this would be the first step towards “gaining back trust from fans worldwide”.

Last week, FIFA was hit by the arrests of top officials on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering as part of a US prosecution that also indicted 14 people.

Blatter was subsequently re-elected, but on Tuesday resigned, saying his mandate “did not appear to be supported by everybody”.

Visa said it was encouraged “by the recognition by FIFA that extensive and fundamental reform is needed as reflected by the announcement that President Blatter is resigning”.

“This is a significant first step towards rebuilding public trust, but more work lies ahead,” it said on Tuesday.

“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,” the company said.

Coca-Cola also described the move as a positive step, but added that it expected FIFA to act with urgency and win back the trust of all who love the sport of football.

“We believe this decision will help FIFA transform itself rapidly into a much-needed 21st Century structure and institution,” Coca-Cola said.

Other sponsors, Budweiser, Adidas and McDonald’s, also issued broadly positive statements.

“We expect today’s announcement to accelerate FIFA’s efforts to resolve internal issues, install positive change and adhere to the highest ethical standards and transparency,” Budweiser said.

Adidas said the news marked “a step in the right direction on FIFA’s path to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do.”

For its part, McDonald’s said it was “hopeful” that the changes being implemented would lead to FIFA being reformed and “gaining back trust from fans worldwide”.

Hyundai said the resignation was a “positive first step in creating a governance structure that ensures the highest ethical standards for the sport.”

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