The persistent failure of world football’s governing body to reform, despite mounting allegations of corruption, means that it is now up to the organisation’s sponsors to act, the UK’s leading authority on corporate governance said today. The Institute of Directors insisted that the scandal engulfing FIFA is not simply an issue for the international sporting community, but is also a matter requiring the urgent attention of the boards and shareholders of the companies who sponsor the World Cup.
Dr Roger Barker, Director of Corporate Governance of the IoD, said:
“The large multinationals who pour hundreds of millions of pounds of sponsorship into FIFA’s coffers every year cannot turn a blind eye to the gross failures of corporate governance at the organisation. These sponsors rightly make great efforts to ensure their own boards and reporting practices are up to scratch, and they have a responsibility to their shareholders to make certain that the company’s cash is not going towards sporting events mired in bribery and corruption allegations.
“In turn, the shareholders of these sponsors must exert pressure on the boards to protect their company from the considerable reputational risk of being associated with this scandal-ridden organisation. No business of FIFA’s size and vast revenues could possibly get away with allowing its executives to operate without meaningful accountability, and it is now time for FIFA’s corporate backers to take a stand."