Some of the World Cup's top sponsors issued statements today following the resignation of newly re-elected FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Budweiser, Adidas, Visa and McDonald's all essentially called Blatter's resignation a step in the right direction in reshaping the image and reputation of FIFA following the indictments, arrests and ongoing investigations for corruption and bribery reaching to the highest levels of football's world governing body.
Though Blatter himself has not been charged with anything, reports today revealed that the FBI had been investigating the four-term FIFA president.
A statement from Adidas read, "We welcome FIFA's commitment to change. As stated before, the adidas Group is fully committed to creating a culture that promotes the highest standards of ethics and compliance. Today's news marks a step in the right direction on FIFA's path to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do."
While McDonald's published these remarks: "Football has the unique ability to bring the world together while positively impacting communities and economies. The allegations of corruption and questionable ethics within FIFA have overshadowed the game and taken away from the sport, players and fans. We're hopeful that the changes being implemented within FIFA will be a big first step in positively reforming the organization and gaining back trust from fans worldwide."
Budweiser offered this statement: "We expect today's announcement to accelerate FIFA's efforts to resolve internal issues, install positive change and adhere to the highest ethical standards and transparency. We look forward to the beauty of the game taking center-stage again for football fans around the globe."
Visa put out the longest statement of these four major World Cup sponsors, saying, "We are encouraged by the recognition by FIFA that extensive and fundamental reform is needed as reflected by the announcement that President Blatter is resigning and that FIFA will be undergoing a "profound overhaul". This is a significant first step towards rebuilding public trust, but more work lies ahead."
"Transparency, integrity and fair play must be the hallmarks of the new administration and Visa stands ready to work with FIFA towards these principles. We repeat, however, that it is our expectation that FIFA will take swift and immediate steps towards 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. We look forward to understanding the nature and scope of the intended reforms in the very near future."
FIFA licensee Electronic Arts was supportive of the move in its statement: "Football is more than a sport; it unites us around the world in a shared passion. At Electronic Arts, we are supportive of FIFA's examination of its organization and the important steps being taken toward reform."