ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JULY 20: FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter attends a press conference at the Extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee Meeting at the FIFA headquarters on July 20, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Coca-Cola, McDonalds call for Blatter to step down


Two of FIFA’s biggest corporate sponsors have come out today and publicly stated a desire for Sepp Blatter to step down as president, immediately.

Both Coca-Cola and McDonalds have called for the highly-controversial leader to resign from office “in the best interest of the game.” An election for his replacement is set to be held in February, although there has been much back-and-forth as to whether Blatter should remain in power until then.

[ MORE: Swiss open criminal proceedings against Blatter ]

Coca-Cola emailed a statement that called for “comprehensive and urgent reform”:

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.

Then, McDonalds released the following 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.

Despite the growing pressure, Blatter’s lawyer responded by saying that his client would not be resigning as president.

While both major corporations calling for Blatter’s resignation is a step in the right direction, Blatter has shown his stubbornness throughout this whole scandal, adamant that he is unwilling to do so. If Coca-Cola and McDonalds were to go a step further and pull their monetary relationship with FIFA, then maybe a change would be more likely to happen.

Ahead of Mexico clash, USA drop in latest FIFA World Rankings

Jürgen Klinsmann

The U.S. national team have dropped one spot to 29th in the latest FIFA World Rankings released on October 1.

In their most recent games, both friendlies, Jurgen Klinsmann’s side beat Peru 2-1 in Washington D.C. on Sept. 4 but were humbled by Brazil in a 4-1 defeat at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 8.

[ MORE: Sporting KC win Open Cup on PKs ]

With no competitive matches for CONCACAF teams since the 2015 Gold Cup back in July, there hasn’t been much movement among the usual suspects but Mexico also dropped one spot and now sit in 27th place as the highest ranked CONCACAF nation. Costa Rica moved down three places to 42nd, while Gold Cup finalists Jamaica dropped five spots to 57th in the latest rankings.

Argentina remain top of the rankings, but Germany and Belgium switch spots as the reigning World Cup champs move back up to second. The other big movers in the top 10 include Portugal, up two spots to fourth, and Spain, who climb five places to sit sixth in the world. Wales’ incredible ascension continues as the Gareth Bale-inspired nation moves up one spot to eighth.

[ VIDEO: Suarez scores screamer for Barcelona ]

Below is a full of the top 20 nations Expect plenty of movement in the next set of rankings as a full international schedule is coming up next week.

1. Argentina
2. Germany
3. Belgium
4. Portugal
5. Colombia
6. Spain
7. Brazil
8. Wales
9. Chile
10. England
11. Austria
12. Switzerland
13. Romania
14. Netherlands
15. Czech Republic
16. Croatia
17. Italy
18. Slovakia
19. Algeria
20. Uruguay

29. USA

Blatter to stay on as FIFA president: “I’ve done nothing illegal”

1 Comment

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has vowed to stay on despite a criminal investigations being launched against the 79-year-old by the Swiss authorities.

[ MORE: Bradley on “hate” ahead of USA-Mexico ]

Speaking in an internal FIFA staff meeting in Zurich on Monday, the 17-year leader of world soccer’s governing body claimed he had “done nothing illegal or improper” over suspicions of mismanagement regarding a TV deal with former FIFA president Jack Warner, plus a payment of $1.9 million to current UEFA president Michel Platini who is in the running to replace Blatter as FIFA’s president when he steps down on Feb. 26, 2016.

This latest show of defiance from Blatter comes after Swiss and U.S. authorities continue their probe into long-term corruption at the organization he had been at the head of for nearly two decades, while he has been involved in FIFA for almost 40 years in various roles.

Following sensational dawn raids in Zurich prior to the most recent FIFA presidential election — which Blatter won to secure a fifth-straight four-year term in charge — in May, Blatter announced that he was to resign his position.

His resignation will still take place as planned but despite allegations of criminal mismanagement hanging over his head, the head of FIFA will continue his role until the bitter end.

Did anybody expect anything else? Various reports suggest that both Blatter and Platini could be suspended by FIFA as the investigations by the Swiss authorities play out (that would mean the latter would be out of the next presidential election) but as of yet, no word has come from FIFA on how they plan to act regarding the matter.

Courtesy of Rob Harris from the Associated Press, here is a statement from Blatter’s lawyer.

“President Blatter spoke to FIFA staff today and informed the staff that he was cooperating with the authorities, reiterated that he had done nothing illegal or improper and stated that he would remain as president of FIFA.

“On the (UEFA President Michel) Platini matter, President Blatter on Friday shared with the Swiss authorities the fact that Mr. Platini had a valuable employment relationship with FIFA serving as an adviser to the president beginning in 1998. He explained to the prosecutors that the payments were valid compensation and nothing more and were properly accounted for within FIFA including the withholding of Social Security contributions.

“Because of the continuing investigation President Blatter will answer no further questions at this time.”