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Sponsors press FIFA over corruption claims

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

LONDON, - Major sponsors Adidas, Sony and Visa have demanded that FIFA carry out a thorough investigation of corruption allegations over Qatar's 2022 World Cup-bid, stepping up pressure on football's governing body.

The corporate titans urged football's rulers to probe claims that former Qatari football boss Mohamed bin Hammam paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure support for a controversial victory in a 2010 FIFA vote.

The three companies account for hundreds of millions of dollars of sponsorship for FIFA.

Adidas said in a statement that it was "confident that the matter is being dealt with as a priority".

FIFA investigator Michael Garcia, a former US federal prosecutor, is to finish his inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes on Tuesday.

The company said it has had a "long-term and successful partnership with FIFA" that it looked forward to continuing.

Sony was reported by The Sunday Times as saying that it wanted FIFA to hold an "appropriate" investigation into the Qatar allegations.

"As a FIFA partner, we expect these allegations to be investigated appropriately," the Japanese electronics giant told the paper.

"We continue to expect FIFA to adhere to its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play across all aspects of its operations."

"Visa does not take part in the administration of sport," said a statement released by the credit card giant.

Qatar has strongly denied allegations reported by The Sunday Times newspaper that former Qatar football boss Mohamed Bin Hammam paid more than $US5 million ($A5.41 million) in bribes to win support ahead of the 2010 vote on the 2018 and 2022 hosts of the World Cup.

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