Sepp Blatter insists he will not resign as FIFA president, despite coming under fire from two of the organisation’s biggest sponsors, Coca Cola and McDonald’s.
The corruption scandal engulfing world football’s governing body last week caught up with Blatter, as criminal proceedings were opened against him by Swiss authorities on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation.
Coca Cola – a headline FIFA partner – and World Cup sponsor McDonald’s have previously expressed their concern over the numerous revelations of corruption and mismanagement.
But both companies have now called for tough action to be taken, demanding Blatter step down immediately from a role that he is set to relinquish regardless in February.
A McDonald’s statement read: “The events of recent weeks have continued to diminish the reputation of FIFA and public confidence in its leadership.
“We believe it would be in the best interest of the game for FIFA President Sepp Blatter to step down immediately so that the reform process can proceed with the credibility that is needed.”
Coca Cola’s statement added: “Every day that passes Fifa’s image and reputation continues to tarnish.”
However, a statement released via Blatter’s legal team almost immediately, read: “While Coca Cola is a valued sponsor of FIFA, Mr Blatter respectfully disagrees with its position and believes firmly that his leaving office now would not be in the best interest of FIFA nor would it advance the process of reform and therefore, he will not resign.”