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Marketplace Morning Report

Coca-Cola, Adidas express concerns over FIFA bribery allegations

Stephen Beard May 31, 2011
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BOB MOON: Two of the biggest corporate sponsors of soccer around the world are Coca-Cola and Adidas. They spend billions on the World Cup. But today, they’ve gone public with concerns over bribery allegations in the sport. Some are saying the corruption charges have sent soccer and its governing body, known as FIFA into a ‘crisis.’

From the Europe Desk, Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: Almost half of the committee that runs FIFA stands accused of corruption. It’s alleged that they took bribes before deciding which countries should host the Soccer World Cup. Coca-Cola and Adidas are clearly alarmed. They have much at stake — they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in world soccer. The two sponsors describe the bribery allegations as distressing and bad for the game.

Alex Finn is a consultant:advising soccer teams

ALEX FINN: The are concerned because if FIFA is damaged, the World Cup is damaged. And their association with that is contaminated.

Coca-Cola has called on FIFA to resolve the crisis as fast as possible. But Finn does not believe that either Coke or Adidas will be able to kick their sponsorship.

FIFA is one thing but the actual soccer is another. It’s just too big to ignore. The World Cup Final is the most-watched sporting event on earth.

In London I’m Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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