The Japanese electronics manufacturer Sony will not be renewing its sponsorship deal with Fifa, which expires at the end of the year.
It is the second of the world governing body’s “Top Six” partners to withdraw its backing while allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals continue to engulf the organisation.
Sony’s eight-year deal covered the South African World Cup in 2010 and this year’s tournament in Brazil. The deal was worth 33 billion yen (around £180m).
Sony is currently making significant losses, and has not gone so far as to state that it is Fifa’s increasingly toxic image that lies behind the company’s decision not to renew the deal.
It is under no obligation to do so but other top-level sponsors, such as adidas, have recently signed deals all the way through to the World Cup in 2030.
A Fifa spokesman said: “The existing contract with Sony runs until 31 December 2014 and we are currently in discussions with the brand.”
Fifa will now need to find a top electronics firm to replace Sony. Samsung is thought likely to step in, and the price it will pay will almost certainly be significantly higher than that paid by Sony.
Coca-Cola, another top partner, has publicly criticised the organisation for its lack of transparency over the bidding process. Last month, Emirates Airlines announced that it too would not renew its sponsorship agreement.
Meanwhile Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has written to Fifa president Sepp Blatter requesting that the full report it made into corruption in the two bidding process be made public. Its author, the US lawyer Michael Garcia, wants the document published but Blatter has said that to do so would be illegal.Reuse content