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Adidas speaks out in FIFA controversy

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Adidas speaks out in FIFA controversy
Photo: DPA
15:12 CEST+02:00
Amid growing calls for the sleaze-tainted presidential election at football's global body FIFA to be postponed, Germany-based Adidas said on Tuesday it feared for the image of the sport.

"The repeated accusations (of corruption) are good for neither the image of

football nor FIFA itself," a company spokesman said, adding however that "events do not bring into question our cooperation (with FIFA)."

FIFA is currently beset by accusations and counter-claims of corruption

in its highest echelons.

Election candidate Mohamed bin Hammam and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner have been suspended following allegations they offered bribes in the campaign to oust current president Sepp Blatter, who is now the sole candidate in the upcoming vote.

There are parallel accusations that several other members of FIFA's executive committee were guilty of corruption during the votes to decide who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) said Tuesday that FIFA should hold off on the election while the situation is investigated.

"Free and fair elections cannot take place when there is a suspicion that voters may have been swayed," Sylvia Schenk, senior advisor on sport to TI, said in a statement. "FIFA delegates know that they must clean house if their vote is to have legitimacy.”

Blatter is set to be re-elected unopposed for a fourth term by FIFA's

congress on Wednesday.

But there are signs that sponsors are mutinying against the powerful body, and demanding that FIFA quickly address the scandal.

In addition to Adidas, Coca-Cola and Emirates Airlines have expressed concern and called for a speedy resolution to FIFA's troubles.

The Local/AFP/mdm

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