Adidas mulls 'cutting ties' with FIFA

Adidas (File)
Adidas (File)

Frankfurt - The head of German sportswear giant Adidas hinted for the first time on Wednesday at the possibility of cutting links with FIFA in the wake of the corruption allegations dogging the bidding process for the 2006 World Cup.

"If FIFA succeeds in reforming itself - and in my view they're making good progress here - then we will continue," Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer told the business daily Handelsblatt.

Adidas has sponsored FIFA for more than 40 years and the current contract runs until 2030.

But if FIFA fails to get its house in order, "we will have to think about what the alternatives are," Hainer said.

German football has been engulfed by claims that a $7.2 million payment to FIFA was used to purchase the votes of four members of FIFA's executive committee in 2000 - days before Germany narrowly won the right to host the 2006 finals.

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter has been suspended by the organisation he has headed for 17 years, and faces a hearing at the ethics committee over allegations of corruption.

While a number of other major sponsors, such as Coca-Cola and VISA, have called on Blatter to go, Adidas has so far taken a more conciliatory tone.

Hainer's comments to the Handelsblatt are the first time he has hinted at rupturing ties with FIFA.

He rejected suggestions that Adidas might have known about the shady wheelings and dealings going on within FIFA.

"No-one can claim Adidas is responsible," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 8943 votes
Cricket
11% - 2313 votes
Football
19% - 4084 votes
Athletics
2% - 528 votes
Boxing
1% - 191 votes
Cycling
2% - 496 votes
Golf
5% - 1043 votes
Motorsport
9% - 1813 votes
Tennis
3% - 726 votes
Water sports
1% - 198 votes
American sports
1% - 266 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 672 votes
Vote