Adidas, along with several other big sponsors of the World Cup, issued statements following the resignation of FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
“We welcome FIFA’s commitment to change,” the German athletic company said in a statement following Blatter’s decision to step down on Tuesday. “As stated before, the Adidas Group is fully committed to creating a culture that promotes the highest standards of ethics and compliance. [Tuesday’s] news marks a step in the right direction on FIFA’s path to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do.”
Adidas was the first major sponsor to publicly voice concerns over corruption probes and arrests at FIFA, the soccer world’s governing body. Other prominent World Cup sponsors, such as Budweiser, Visa and McDonald’s, have since weighed in following Blatter’s resignation.
Visa said that “fundamental reform” was needed at FIFA and that the organization is now primed for a “profound overhaul.”
“Transparency, integrity and fair play must be the hallmarks of the new administration, and Visa stands ready to work with FIFA towards these principles,” said the credit-card company in a statement. “We repeat, however, that it is our expectation that FIFA will take swift and immediate steps toward addressing the issues within its organization to quickly rebuild a culture with strong ethical practices that will restore the reputation of the games for fans around the world.”
Last Wednesday, the governing soccer body was dealt a major blow when nine of its high-ranking officials were arrested on corruption and bribery charges.
A day after those arrests, Nike was also dragged into the spotlight. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch filed an indictment against 14 people associated with the Brazilian national soccer team, alleging years of fraud and kickbacks. Though Nike wasn’t named in the indictment, it is affiliated with the team. The Oregon-based company issued a statement saying that it has “been cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, with the authorities.”
Meanwhile, the women’s World Cup kicks off on June 6, and the men’s tournament gets under way in 2018.