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Nike issues statement following arrest of FIFA officials

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 May 2015

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Nike have issued a statement saying they are “cooperating” with authorities, in the wake of the arrests of several FIFA officials.

On Wednesday, 14 people – including nine FIFA officials – were indicted on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and corruption by Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice, following a request by United States authorities.

Seven of those charged were arrested in Zurich earlier in the day.

The US Department of Justice (USDoJ) did not specifically name Nike as part of its investigations, or accuse them of any wrongdoing, stating only that a “major US sportswear company” was involved in the probe.

Nike did, though, release a statement to the media in relation to the day’s events – although that did not confirm that they were the manufacturer being referred to by the USDoJ.

“Like fans everywhere we care passionately about the game and are concerned by the very serious allegations,” Nike’s statement read. “Nike believes in ethical and fair play in both business and sport and strongly opposes any form of manipulation or bribery. We have been cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, with the authorities.”

Ranked number 15 on Fortune’s 2015 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, Nike’s worldwide brand is valued at an estimated $15billion, according to Forbes. 

It competes with official World Cup sponsor adidas to be international football’s top brand.

Earlier on Wednesday, adidas had been quick to issue a release that stopped short of criticising football’s governing body but did “encourage FIFA to continue to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do”.

 

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