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July 04, 2020

Matthews and Collett Banned From Olympics

MUNICH, West Germany, Sept. 8 — The International Olympic Committee barred today two United States…
July 04, 2020

Vincent Matthews and Wayne Collett: A Most Casual Protest With Most Striking Consequences

They stood there casually, one barefoot, hands on hips, the other in thoughtful repose, right…
July 04, 2020

Athletes Will Be Banned From Protesting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But the Games Have…

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced new guidelines on Thursday that ban athletes from making…
July 04, 2020

RESOLUTION OF THE IOC EXECUTIVE BOARD WITH REGARD TO RACISM AND INCLUSION

The IOC stands for non-discrimination as one of the founding pillars of the Olympic Movement,…
July 01, 2020

Lewis highlights racial discrimination and gender inequality in sports

"Olympic Order is the Olympic Movement highest award for distinguished contributions to sports. The list…
June 29, 2020

Black Lives Matter movement brings ex-IOC President Brundage under new scrutiny

When the Olympic Games were last held in Tokyo, American multi-millionaire Avery Brundage was President…
June 27, 2020

Opinion: Equality still remains an elusive goal

My professional life has been defined by three principles: excellence, integrity, equality. They were bred…

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Four of the top corporate sponsors of FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, took coordinated aim at the organization’s president, Sepp Blatter, on Friday, calling for him to resign and labeling him an obstacle to reform.

Mr. Blatter immediately rejected the demands of the four companies — Visa, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Anheuser-Busch InBev — suggesting that FIFA saw the public statements as little more than an idle threat.

“Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish,” Coca-Cola said in a news release, a sentiment that was quickly amplified in similar statements by the other sponsors. “FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach.”

Anheuser-Busch InBev called Mr. Blatter an “obstacle” to reform, and McDonald’s cited diminishing public confidence in his leadership. Visa said, “We believe no meaningful reform can be made under FIFA’s existing leadership.”


Mr. Blatter said through his lawyer that he had no intention of quitting.

“Mr. Blatter respectfully disagrees with its position,” Richard Cullen, Mr. Blatter’s lawyer, said in response to Coca-Cola’s statement, “and believes firmly that his leaving office now would not be in the best interest of FIFA nor would it advance the process of reform and therefore, he will not resign.”

The four sponsors that called for Blatter’s resignation are some of FIFA’s most prominent and longest-serving benefactors. Coca-Cola and Visa are two of FIFA’s five official partners, its highest level of sponsorship, and each has paid tens of millions of dollars to be associated with soccer’s biggest events. Like Coca-Cola, a World Cup sponsor since 1982, McDonald’s and Anheuser-Busch InBev have relationships with FIFA that go back decades.

Mr. Blatter has been FIFA’s president since 1998, but after several top soccer and marketing officials closely linked to FIFA were arrested in May — and only days after he won a fifth term as president — he announced that he would give up his office. He called for a special election to choose his successor; that vote will be held in February.

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