Two leading sponsors of the FIFA World Cup have called on Sepp Blatter to immediately resign as president of world football's governing body.
The calls from the soft drinks giant Coca-Cola and the international fast-food company McDonald's on Friday, come a week after Blatter was placed under criminal investigation by Swiss authorities for alleged financial wrongdoing at FIFA, which he has led since 1998.
"For the benefit of the game, The Coca-Cola Company is calling for FIFA President Joseph Blatter to step down immediately so that a credible and sustainable reform process can begin in earnest," Coca-Cola said in a statement.
"Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach."
Meanwhile, McDonald's said: "The events of recent weeks have continued to diminish the reputation of FIFA and public confidence in its leadership."
It added that Blatter's resignation is in the best interest of FIFA, "so that the reform process can proceed with the credibility that is needed."
The 79-year-old Swiss, however, rejected the call to resign, according to his lawyer on Friday.
Women's role in football
Earlier this week, Blatter told FIFA staff he was determined to remain in power until February's emergency presidential election.
Blatter's own position has been weakened as lawyers oversee key decisions at scandal-battered FIFA and he waits to hear whether he will be suspended by the ethics committee.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|