Visa, Sony, and adidas have all told FIFA they are keeping a close eye on the investigation into corruption surrounding the 2022 World Cup bid for Qatar.
“The negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners,” adidas, FIFA’s longest-serving sponsor said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sony shook its finger and said they expect the allegations to be “investigated appropriately,” and Visa declared they expect FIFA to “take the appropriate actions” in its investigation.
While it sounds nice that those controlling the cash are up in arms about the situation too. However, it may not be all that good.
Under fire from those who provide $1.5 billion in revenue for FIFA and sensing the prospect of losing said money if news ends up proving negative, the governing body could feel increasing pressure to hide crucial information and present a clean report.
While the sponsors focus on due process, Visa’s statement holds the sense of an ultimatum: make us look bad, and we’ll make you look bad. That’s the way it’s always been.
So if FIFA does uncover foul play, which is a very likely prospect, they could be persuaded to cover much of it up under the motive that should they release truthful information, the financial damage could be severe.
Everyone wants justice, everyone except the sponsors. The sponsors want good publicity, whether that involves justice or not. So which is better for the game?