Normally allegations of corruption are bad for the organization in question. With FIFA in the midst of several allegations of corruption and under fire, saying that the allegations of corruption are bad for FIFA and the sport is nothing extraordinary. Well, that is unless it comes from Adidas, one of FIFA's biggest sponsors.
"The negative tenor of the public debate is neither good for the sport of football nor for FIFA as an institution and its partners," Adidas said in response to the allegations that have been levied against FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam and Jack Warner, both FIFA vice-presidents.
Adidas and FIFA have been partners since 1970. Their current contract, which began in 2007 and runs through 2014, makes Adidas the official sports equipment supplier to FIFA and includes licensing rights, marketing and priority access to sponsorships on TV and in stadiums. That is especially valuable at the World Cup, where the Adidas logo is everywhere. Such a deal nets FIFA $351 million over the length of the deal.
Allegations of corruption within FIFA are nothing new and many have questioned why these allegations are more likely to force a change within the organization than any of the many others before. However, if FIFA's pocketbook is threatened, which is a long way off, but could be with further allegations and responses from top sponsors, that change within FIFA could come.