Fifa congress opens as sponsor concerns grow over arrests


Football’s governing body Fifa is due to open its annual congress despite warnings from sponsors that they may review ties over the arrest of senior officials on corruption charges.


Coca-Cola, Adidas and Visa were among the companies to voice their concern.

The European football body Uefa will decide whether to boycott Friday’s vote for the next Fifa president.

Seven top Fifa officials were arrested in Zurich on Wednesday, among a group of 14 people indicted.

Fifa on Wednesday announced a provisional banfrom football-related activity on 11 of the people involved in the US prosecution.

But it said the election on Friday – in which Fifa president Sepp Blatter is seeking a fifth term – would go ahead.

Commenting a day after the arrests, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC there was “something deeply wrong at the heart of Fifa and international football needs to reform, needs to get its act together”.

Mr Blatter, who has not been named in the investigations, issued a statement on the US case, saying: “Such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game.”

He is due to make his first appearance since the arrests at Fifa’s annual congress in the Swiss city of Zurich on Thursday.

Swiss prosecutors have also opened a separate investigation into the bidding process for the World Cup tournaments in 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar. BBC

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