South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company, the sole Asian FIFA partner for Russia 2018 World Cup, said it was extremely concerned following the arrest of FIFA officials on corruption charges.
Nine arrests were made in Zurich yesterday in the wake of a £100m corruption fiasco. Business Day reported that US attorney general Loretta Lynch claimed bribes were paid to influence the hosting and corruption was involved since 2004. According to the indictment two unnamed “high ranking” South Africans were involved in the fiasco, which suggest that the 2010 world cup bid may have been won unfairly.
This has brought a relationship of 16 years between the automaker and world football governing body FIFA to a feeble state, as major sponsors are threatening to pull away from the organization.
The Asian Football Federation may have reaffirmed a decision to back FIFA chief Joseph S. Blatter in the forthcoming elections, but the World Cup official automotive partner expressed serious and “extreme” concern over the fiasco.
In a statement, Hyundai said, “As a company that place the highest priority on ethical standards and transparency, Hyundai Motor is extremely concerned about the legal proceedings being taken against certain FIFA executives and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”