Visa boss hits out at Blatter

Visa boss hits out at Blatter

The head of leading FIFA sponsor Visa has delivered a stinging attack on Sepp Blatter claiming there can be no meaningful reforms until he leaves as president of the organisation.

Blatter is insistent he will remain in the position until the election of his successor on February 26 next year and this week announced a task force to bring in reforms.

But Visa chief executive Charlie Scharf said FIFA’s response to the corruption crisis had been “wholly inadequate” and joined fellow sponsors Coca-Cola in demanding a fully-independent reform commission.

Speaking on a conference call announcing Visa’s quarterly earnings, Scharf said: “We view the stewardship of our company, our brand, and our clients with the utmost importance and try to hold ourselves to the highest standards.

“We seek to partner with those who think and act like us. I don’t believe that FIFA is living up to these standards. Furthermore, their subsequent responses are wholly inadequate and continue to show its lack of awareness of the seriousness of the changes which are needed.

“To this end, we believe two things need to happen to ensure credible reform. First, an independent, third-party commission led by one or more impartial leaders is critical to formulate reforms.

“Second, we believe no meaningful reform can be made under FIFA’s existing leadership. Football itself is a great sport with which we are proud to be associated. We want to be proud to be associated with FIFA and hope and look forward to working with them to that end.”

Seven FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich in May after the US justice department indicted a total of 18 people on football-related corruption charges. A separate investigation into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has been launched by Swiss prosecutors.

Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, has emerged as a candidate to head the reform task force but it is not clear whether he would be separate enough from FIFA to satisfy Visa.

UEFA president Michel Platini, the favourite to succeed Blatter, is understood to be open to the idea of Scala being appointed but would prefer someone without any FIFA connections taking the position.

More in this Section

Norwich scrape win as VAR monitor is used for first time in Premier LeagueNorwich scrape win as VAR monitor is used for first time in Premier League

Fernandinho’s last gasp own goal sees Crystal Palace claim drawFernandinho’s last gasp own goal sees Crystal Palace claim draw

Brighton held as Grealish plays the Villa-inBrighton held as Grealish plays the Villa-in

John Fleck nets late equaliser as Blades hold GunnersJohn Fleck nets late equaliser as Blades hold Gunners


Lifestyle

The actor knows how to impress when it comes to high profile events.6 times Katie Holmes wowed on the red carpet

Glamour, fun and feathers all feature in this year’s hottest looks – but first and foremost, individual style rules.10 on-trend ways to transform your home in 2020

Abi Jackson shares the enduring appeal of Pooh Bear’s wisdom on Winnie-the-Pooh Day – author A.A. Milne’s birthday.Winnie-the-Pooh Day: The wellbeing lessons we can learn from Pooh Bear

We asked three experts for the low-down on shampooing frequency.How often should you really wash your hair?

More From The Irish Examiner