Qatar 2022: Fifa under pressure as 'strongest partner' Adidas issue statement on World Cup corruption

Adidas has joined partners Visa and Sony in releasing statements commenting on the allegations of corruption and bribery

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The Independent Football

The pressure has mounted on Fifa after Adidas became the second of its six official corporate partners to comment on the negative publicity surrounding the allegations of corruption and bribery during Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup.

In a statement released today, Adidas joined Japanese electronics manufacturer Sony in voicing its concern about the negative image the corruption allegations were having on Fifa and the sport.

The statement said: "Adidas enjoys a long-term and successful partnership with Fifa that we are looking forward to continue.

"Having said that, the negative tenor of the public debate around Fifa at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners."

It is the most significant comment to come from a Fifa sponsor yet, due to the fact that Adidas has been one of Fifa’s most lucrative partners and strongest supporters for over four decades.

Their partnership began in 1970, and has seen Adidas hold monopoly over every World Cup and Fifa tournament ever since.

Last year, both organisations signed a 17-year contract that would see Adidas as the Official Partner and Supplier for the World Cup until 2030.

It is believed that the partnership between the two is worth almost $70 million a year to Fifa.

Earlier today, Sony became the first of Fifa’s corporate partners to release a statement commenting on the corruption allegations.In the statement they said: “As a Fifa partner, we expect these allegations to be investigated appropriately.”

“We continue to expect Fifa to adhere to its principles of integrity ethics and fair play across all aspects of its operations.”

This was followed by credit card company Visa, who echoed Sony's calls asking for Fifa to ensure appropriate actions were taken to "respond to the report and its recommendations."

So far, the other three commercial partners - Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Emirates - are yet to release any public statements in relation to the allegations of corruption surrounding Qatar’s 2022 bid.

The Qatar bid team has said it “vehemently denies all allegations of wrong-doing” in the wake of recent reports, and that it was cooperating fully with Mr Garcia’s investigation.

“The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity in its successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World,” a statement read.

Fifa President Sepp Blatter has called for time to be allowed to investigate the allegations, tweeting this morning: "Never ignoring media reports on ethics allegations in football. But let the Ethics Committee work!"