FIFA sponsor McDonald's backs independent reform body: group

Thu Aug 6, 2015 7:28am EDT
 
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By Simon Evans

ZURICH (Reuters) - World Cup sponsor McDonald’s has joined Coca-Cola and Visa in urging FIFA to adopt an independent reform commission in response to the scandals that have plagued world soccer’s governing body.

The campaign group New FIFA Now on Thursday published an email from a McDonald's saying the fast food giant supports the creation of an independent body to deal with FIFA’s problems.

“In regards to an independent reform commission, we do believe this is an important step in the greater reform that has to happen within FIFA,” McDonald’s vice-president of global media relations and issues management, Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem wrote in the email.

Previously, McDonald’s had been critical of FIFA and urged change without specifically calling for an independent reform process.

“An independent commission would bring an appropriate level of credibility, transparency, and neutrality to the role, and ultimately provide sponsors and fans across the globe with the confidence that the reform effort is both meaningful and a step in the right direction,” wrote Sa Shekhem.

World soccer's governing body has been in crisis since May, when nine officials and five marketing executives were charged by the U.S. Justice Department with exploiting the sport for their own gain through bribes of more than $150 million over 24 years.

In the wake of the scandal, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said he will stand down next February.

Last month FIFA announced they were creating a Reform Task Force made up of ten representatives of its regional confederations and to be chaired by someone from outside of soccer.   Continued...

 
The McDonald's Restaurant Store Museum is seen in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines, Illinois, United States, July 23, 2015.  REUTERS/Jim Young