Emirates Airlines has withdrawn from sponsoring the World Cup.
The Dubai-based company was one of FIFA’s six ‘Tier One’ major World Cup sponsors along with Coca-Cola, Visa, Hyundai/Kia, Sony and Adidas.
Their press release gave little away: “This decision was made,” it explained, “following an evaluation of FIFA’s contract proposal which did not meet Emirates’ expectations.”
However, it would be a surprise if the volte-face was not down to the continuingly negative news surrounding FIFA’s notorious double World Cup vote in 2010.
Emirates not only had the 2022 tournament on their doorstep in Qatar but are already heavily involved in football, sponsoring many tournaments and high-profile teams including Real Madrid, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, whose stadium is named after the airline.
None of the six big sponsors look good in the light of relentless corruption stories, but only Sony has so far hinted at following Emirates’ lead. Second-tier sponsors BP and Budweiser have expressed worries about FIFA’s soiled reputation.
Hitting football’s governing body where it hurts, in the pocket, is perhaps the only hope of washing away the den of thieves who have run football for too long.
Visa, Sony and Adidas, whose relationship with Judi Online FIFA is apparently umbilical since the founder’s son Horst Dassler befriended FIFA boss Joao Havelange, expressed concern at the corruption allegations back in the summer.
Yet Qatar Airways and Samsung are rumoured to be willing to step in to form part of …