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赞助商集体施压,要求调查卡塔尔世界杯申办贿选丑闻

Geoffrey Smith 2014年06月12日

巴西世界杯开球在即,国际足联却因为2022年卡塔尔世界杯申办期间的贿选丑闻遭遇索尼、阿迪达斯、现代等赞助商的集体施压。国际足联主席反驳称,这些指控反映了严重的歧视和种族主义。

    巴西举办的2014年世界杯眼看就要开幕了,关于国际足球界领导机构——国际足联(Fifa)腐败的指控,越来越让这个机构的资金赞助商们头痛不已。

    国际足联的6家官方“合作伙伴”中,已有5家公开对连篇累牍且日益具体的指控表示担忧。据报道,卡塔尔足协为了取得2022年世界杯的举办权大肆行贿,对此事报道最多的,是英国的《星期日泰晤士报》( Sunday Times)。

    总部位于苏黎世的国际足联已暂停对于此事的内部调查,准备等到本届世界杯结束后再继续。此举旨在使国际媒体的注意力集中在世界杯本身上。

    由于本周一是瑞士的公共假期,因此无法联系到国际足联对此发表评论。不过,路透社(Reuters)报道称,国际足联主席赛普•布拉特后来向记者驳斥了相关指控。

    据路透社报道,布拉特说:“卡塔尔取得世界杯举办权一事引发了反对国际足联的声浪。可悲的是,这反映出严重的歧视和种族主义,令我痛心不已。”布拉特并未透露他说的是谁。

    《星期日泰晤士报》最近的指控只要被看成是英国足协因为吃不到葡萄就说葡萄酸,那就毫无分量。毕竟,英国足协也曾申办过2022年世界杯。

    但是,随着世界各地的媒体纷纷援引《星期日泰晤士报》日益详尽的披露,国际足联的赞助商们开始担心与这个机构扯上关系。国际足联原定将获得约40亿美元的比赛转播权和赞助权费用。

    首先发难的是索尼(Sony )。它上周日表示:“我们希望这些指控得到充分调查,并希望国际足联在各方面都坚持诚信、道德和公平竞赛的原则。”

    德国体育用品巨头阿迪达斯(Adidas AG)随后也发布声明称:“眼下关于国际足联的种种负面消息不仅对足球运动无益,对国际足联及其合作伙伴也无益。”尽管这家公司也表示,“相信该问题正作为首要任务得到处理。”

    卡片支付公司维萨(Visa)发表了类似评论,而可口可乐(Coca Cola Inc.)则表示:“任何有损国际足联世界杯使命和理想的问题,都令我们担忧。”

    国际足联的“合作伙伴”是它的长期核心赞助商,也是它的大金主。另外,国际足联还有针对特定活动的赞助商以及全国性的‘支持者’。它的伙伴关系合同往往期限相当长,反映了这种合作关系带来的宣传价值。阿迪达斯与国际足联的合同要一直到2030年,而韩国汽车制造商现代/起亚汽车(Hyundai/Kia Motors)与国际足联的合同也要一直到2022年。

    现代/起亚周一表示:“我们有信心,国际足联正认真对待这些指控,国际足联道德委员会侦查庭将彻底调查此事。”(财富中文网)

    译者:项航

    Allegations of corruption at Fifa, the organisation that runs world soccer, are giving its financial sponsors increasing headaches, with only three days to go before the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

    All but one of the half-dozen official ‘partners’ of Fifa have now voiced public concern about the repeated and increasingly detailed allegations, most notably by the UK’s Sunday Times, that the Qatar football federation practised bribery on a huge scale to win the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

    Zurich-based Fifa has suspended its own internal inquiry into the matter until after the tournament in an effort to keep international media attention concentrated on its showcase event.

    It was unavailable for comment Monday due to a public holiday in Switzerland. However, Reuters reported its President Sepp Blatter later as rebutting the allegations in remarks to reporters.

    “Once again there is a sort of storm against Fifa relating to the Qatar World Cup,” Reuters reported Blatter as saying, without identifying who he was talking about. “Sadly there’s a great deal of discrimination and racism and this hurts me.”

    The Sunday Times’ latest allegations had carried little weight as long as they were perceived as being fed by sour grapes from the English Football Association, which had also bid to host the 2022 tournament.

    But with media around the world now picking up on its increasingly detailed revelations, the organisation’s backers are starting to fret at being associated with it. Fifa is set to receive some $4 billion in broadcasting and sponsorship rights for the tournament.

    Sony SNE 1.24% was the first to break ranks on Sunday, saying that “we expect these allegations to be investigated appropriately, and that we continue to expect FIFA to adhere to its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play across all aspects of its operations.”

    It was followed by German sportswear giant Adidas AG ADDYY 0.46% which said in a statement that: “the negative tenor of the public debate around Fifa at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners,” although it said it was “confident that the matter is being dealt with as a priority.”

    Card payments firm Visa V -0.20% issued a similar comment, while Coca Cola Inc. KO -0.20% said that “Anything that detracts from the mission and ideals of the Fifa World Cup is a concern to us.”

    Fifa’s ‘Partners’ are its long-term, core backers who contribute the most to its coffers. They are followed by event-specific sponsors and its national ‘supporters’. The partnerships tend to run for extremely long terms, reflecting the value of the publicity that they bring. Adidas’ contract with Fifa runs through 2030, while that of Korean carmaker Hyundai/Kia Motors, for example, runs through 2022.

    “We are confident that FIFA is taking these allegations seriously and that the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee will conduct a thorough investigation,” Hyundai/Kia HYMTF 5.00% said Monday.

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