Qatar 2022: Fifa sponsors 'oblivious to scandals', warns expert


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The Independent Football

Multinational firms which sponsor Fifa, world football’s governing body, should challenge its leaders into reform, according to a former adviser.

Alexandra Wrage, who resigned from Fifa’s independent governance committee last year after the Swiss-based group failed to mend its ways, said sponsors such as McDonalds, Visa, Sony, Budweiser and Adidas could do more to encourage transparency and accountability.

The American anti-bribery expert spoke out in the wake of claims that former Fifa vice-president, Mohammed Bin Hammam, paid millions of pounds to football officials around the world to secure the 2022 World Cup for Qatar. Ms Wrage told The Independent: “I have been surprised at how disinterested the sponsors have been during all this. They seem oblivious to these scandals. Until the football world gets the attention of the sponsors then nothing will change.”

The Sunday Times alleged Mr Bin Hammam also paid millions of pounds to African football officials who held sway over the continent’s four voting members on the Fifa executive committee, which it claims was in exchange for the support of Qatar’s bid.

Ms Wrage said the Swiss government was also failing to police Fifa, which boasts headquarters in Lausanne. She said: “The only entity capable of insisting on transparency at Fifa is the Swiss government. I hope they will act.”