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Sponsors disappointed with FIFA graft claims

sports Updated: Jun 01, 2011 00:02 IST

Emirates airline, sponsor of all FIFA tournaments including the World Cup, said Tuesday it was "disappointed" with the corruption allegations gripping world football's governing body.

"Emirates, like all football fans around the world, is disappointed with the issues that are currently surrounding the administration of this sport," Emirates spokesman Boutros Boutros said.

"Emirates' sponsorship of all FIFA Tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup, aims to help promote football and ensure that it is accessible to the billions of football fans; something FIFA has managed to do extremely well in recent years.

"We hope that these issues will be resolved as soon as possible and the outcome will be in the interest of the game and sport in general."

Adidas, the world's second biggest sportswear and equipment group, too has similar concerns. "The repeated accusations (of corruption) are good for neither the image of football nor FIFA itself," the spokesman said, adding however that "events do not bring into question our cooperation (with FIFA)".

US soft-drinks giant Coca-Cola, too has founf the allegations of corruption "distressing". "The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport," Coca Cola spokesman Petro Kacur said.

'Do not boycott'
Asian Football Confederation president Mohammed bin Hammam, who is barred from attending the meeting following his suspension over corruptions claims, said he had instructed delegates to attend Wednesday's meeting. Barred CONCACAF president Jack Warner was accused of breaching his suspension on Tuesday after reminding Caribbean Football Union members they should vote for Sepp Blatter in FIFA's presidential election.