Updates on October 2 at 5:07 p.m.
Visa, McDonald’s, and Coca Cola, among the biggest sponsors of the FIFA World Cup, have called on Sepp Blatter, the head of soccer’s governing body, to resign immediately.
Here’s McDonald’s statement:
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 said:
For the benefit of the game, The Coca-Cola Company is calling for FIFA President Joseph Blatter to step down immediately so that a credible and sustainable reform process can begin in earnest. Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach.
We believe no meaningful reform can be made under FIFA’s existing leadership. And given the events of last week, it’s clear it would be in the best interests of FIFA and the sport for Sepp Blatter to step down immediately.
CNBC reported that AB INBev, the parent company of Budsweiser, echoed those calls.
Breaking: Full statement from Sepp Blatter's lawyer on calls from Coca Cola and McDonalds to step down immediately. pic.twitter.com/As3y91c0Lj— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) October 2, 2015
The pressure from the corporations comes amid increased scrutiny of both FIFA and Blatter. FIFA has faced allegations of corruption for years. Those drumbeats became more prominent after the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively. They were capped in May by a joint U.S.-Swiss operation that resulted in the arrests of several FIFA executives in Zurich.