FIFA

Five of FIFA's biggest sponsors have written to the organisation's executive committee demanding for "independent oversight" in its reforms.

The letter was written by Adidas, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Visa and Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch.

Football's world governing body has been surrounded by controversy in recent years over allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022. But the controversy started its peak earlier this year when US authorities indicted 14 FIFA officials, some of which were arrested in Zurich.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who denies any wrongdoing, is also being investigated by Swiss prosecutors and has been suspended by the organisation, despite announcing that he would resign at FIFA's congress in February. The man who is seemed would be likely to replace him, current UEFA president Michel Platini, has also been suspended and is even facing a lifetime ban from football.

In its letter to the FIFA executive committee, the five sponsors said: "We know that you, the Executive Committee members, will soon be considering a list of reforms aimed at strengthening FIFA's governance.

"Transparency, accountability, respect for human rights, integrity, leadership and gender equality are crucial to the future of FIFA. Reforms can set the proper framework for these characteristics, but a cultural change is also needed."

A FIFA spokesperson said the sponsors would play an "important role in the reform process".

They added: "We share their passion for the game and are committed to working with them to embrace positive changes so that we can fulfil our mission of promoting football around the world."