Visa is threatening to "reassess" its sponsorship if FIFA does not make immediate changes in response to sweeping corruption charges. The statement, issued late Wednesday night, is the harshest response yet from a World Cup sponsor in the wake of the 47-count federal indictment made public Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Visa did not detail the changes it wants made. A spokesman did not respond to a question regarding the marketer's stance on whether FIFA president Sepp Blatter should step down. Here is Visa's full statement:
Our disappointment and concern with FIFA in light of today's developments is profound. As a sponsor, we expect FIFA to take swift and immediate steps to address these issues within its organization. This starts with rebuilding a culture with strong ethical practices in order to restore the reputation of the games for fans everywhere.
Visa became a sponsor of FIFA because the World Cup is one of the few truly global sporting events with the power to unite people from around the world through a common love of football. Our sponsorship has always focused on supporting the teams, enabling a great fan experience and inspiring communities to come together and celebrate the spirit of competition and personal achievement -- and it is important that FIFA makes changes now, so that the focus remain on these going forward. Should FIFA fail to do so, we have informed them that we will reassess our sponsorship.