FIFA Will Lose More Sponsors if Nothing Changes, Says Presidential Candidate Prince Ali

April 7, 2015

By Christian Radnedge

FIFA will be in danger of losing its commercial value if Sepp Blatter remains in charge, according to presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.

World football’s governing body have already lost major sponsors such as Sony and Emirates who both confirmed within the last year that they would not be renewing their contracts.

While the decisions have not been attributed to the many scandals to have surrounded FIFA, most notably the fallout over the awarding of hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, Prince Ali explained in his manifesto that the image of FIFA was being tarnished and therefore that carried consequences.

“Make no mistake: the damage which is being exacted upon ‘Brand FIFA’ has financial implications,” the vice-president wrote.

“Sponsors have begun to vote with their feet. If drastic action is not taken urgently to restore the image of our governing body, we can expect revenues to reduce and, in turn, monies available to national associations to also go down.”

At the beginning of the year, it was revealed that Castrol, Continental and Johnson & Johnson had all severed their ties with FIFA once their contracts expired in 2014.

In the same month, the organisation said it was in “advanced negotiations” with potential partners for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Time is of the essence as the qualifying draw for the tournament takes place in July.

Prince Ali told Associated Press that they should be in a situation where “sponsors are not only willing to come back but we should have sponsors fighting to sponsor FIFA.”

“Obviously I would like to see [the sponsors] back but we also like to see other options as well. It is important to have an organisation that has a good reputation that sponsors feel totally confident in.”

Good Governance

HRHPrinceAli2The core focus of Prince Ali’s manifesto, entitled ‘A FIFA Worthy of the World’s Game’, is on transforming FIFA into an organisation that is a model of good governance and ethical conduct.

Launching his election Manifesto, Prince Ali said: “My Manifesto for reforming FIFA reflects my discussions with National Associations around the world and the priorities that they have expressed to me.

“They have told me that they want a FIFA Development Programme which is transparent, fair, generous and flexible – and which delivers tailored support where it is most needed, so that the level of the game rises for all.”

The FIFA presidential election takes place on May 29 at FIFA’s Congress in Zurich where Blatter will seek to be re-elected for a fifth successive term in office. As well as Prince Ali, Luis Figo and Dutch FA chief Michael van Praag will also contest the presidency.

But the prospect of an upset occurring looked ever more slim as Confederation of African Football chief Issa Hayatou says CAF federations are right behind Blatter’s quest for re-election.

Hayatou reaffirmed his and Africa’s 54 member federations’ support for Blatter at the CAF Congress in Cairo on Tuesday.

“I am thus tempted to say to candidate Blatter that he is preaching to converts here at CAF. His actions in favour of Africa speak for him. To us, he is still the man of the moment,” Hayatou of Cameroon told the congress.

“Dear Sepp, Africa is comfortable having you. Africa stays with you!”

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