UPDATE 2-Soccer-Major sponsors, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, demand reforms at FIFA

Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:32pm EDT
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(Adds FIFA comment)

By Simon Evans

MIAMI, July 17 (Reuters) - Two top sponsors of FIFA and its World Cup tournaments on Friday ratcheted up pressure on the global soccer body for major reforms as a corruption scandal casts a lengthening shadow over the sport.

Coca-Cola Co and McDonald's Corp both made it clear that they are deeply unhappy with the way FIFA is governed and want major change.

Their intervention comes only days ahead of a crucial FIFA executive committee meeting on Monday at which both possible reforms and a timetable to elect a new president to replace Sepp Blatter, who has run FIFA for 17 years, will be discussed.

FIFA has been the subject of a series of allegations in the media - and in books - for many years. The scandal came to a head in May when U.S. prosecutors indicted nine soccer officials, most of whom had FIFA positions, and five marketing and broadcasting company executives with a range of bribery-related offences, including fraud, money-laundering and racketeering.

Coca-Cola urged Zurich-based FIFA to support the creation of an independent body to reform the way it is run. "We have written to FIFA and asked them to support an independent third-party commission for reforms," a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola said on Friday.

And McDonald's said it has told FIFA that there needs to be "meaningful changes to restore trust and credibility with fans and sponsors alike," stressing that FIFA's internal controls and compliance culture "are inconsistent with expectations McDonald's has for its business partners throughout the world."

The U.S. national labor union federation, AFL-CIO, wrote to the CEOs of Coca-Cola, McDonald's and fellow FIFA sponsor, Visa Inc, this week to ask them to support the calls for an independent commission.   Continued...