Sony sever ties with FIFA over corruption scandal

Japanese electronics giant Sony Corporation is set to end their sponsorship of the World football’s governing body Fifa.

Sony will not renew their current contract with football’s governing body amid growing concerns regarding the transparency of the bidding process for the next two World Cups, according to Reuters.

The technology group has been an official sponsor for over 40 Fifa tournaments spanning eight years, including both the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and this year’s tournament held in Brazil.

The news comes after Emirates Airlines decided earlier this month that they would not pursue renewing their own sponsorship contract, citing similar reasons for their departure from the partnership.

World football’s governing body is currently investigating allegations of corruption, which may have affected the outcome of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.  A criminal complaint has also been lodged by Fifa against certain individuals involved in the process.

Fifa have come under heavy fire from many of their big name corporate sponsors, including drinks company Coca-Cola, who described the situation as “disappointing” and had asked for the issue to “resolved quickly in a transparent and efficient manner”.  However, Fifa president Sepp Blatter rejected calls to publish a full version of a report which investigated the bidding process, claiming it would “violate not only it’s in rules and regulations but also Swiss law by making public the report in question.”

Both Sony and Emirates Airline’s contracts with Fifa were due to expire at the end of the year.  Although Emirates have publicly severed ties, Sony are yet to release an official statement commenting on their position.

If confirmed, it would make Sony the second of Fifa’s six official top-tier sponsors to disassociate from football’s governing body.

Photo Credits: Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

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