Coca-Cola calls for third-party FIFA reform

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One of FIFA’s biggest sponsors, Coca-Cola, is calling for the soccer governing body to look outside its walls for help in improving its internal processes and outward appearance.

“We believe that establishing this independent commission will be the most credible way for FIFA to approach its reform process and is necessary to build back the trust it has lost,” Coca-Cola said in a letter to FIFA.

“We are calling for this approach out of our deep commitment to ethics and human rights and in the interest of seeing Fifa succeed.”

The correspondence comes just days before Sepp Blatter is scheduled to meet with the executive committee to determine a date for the new presidential election and to discuss a number of reforms. Many expect him to present a proposal for changes such as term limits and other reforms aimed at increasing transparency.

This marks the first time a sponsor has called for whole-scale reform, especially to ask to bring in a third party. An executive from the International Trade Union Confederation responded favorably, and suggested someone to lead the reform.

“We back the leadership of Coca Cola and call on the Fifa executive to do the right thing on Monday,” said Sharan Burrow. “An external reform commission led by a man like [Former UN Secretary-General] Kofi Annan, supported by men and women including sports leader and players with similar integrity, can make the difference.”

Annan is known for his work as a human rights advocate, and he co-received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 along with the United Nations “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.” His presence would strengthen FIFA’s chances of having a serious effect on improving migrant worker conditions in Qatar on building sites for the 2022 World Cup.