By Jonathan Davies
FIFA's key sponsors have express "serious concern" after a number of officials were arrested in Zurich yesterday (Wednesday) over corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering.
Coca-Cola, one of FIFA's headline sponsors, said the World Cup has been "tarnished" by "lengthy controversy".
Seven officials were arrested in Zurich as football's world governing body gathered ahead of tomorrow's presidential election. In total, 14, including corporate executives, were indicted by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over alleged corruption going back to the early 1990s.
Swiss officials also launched a criminal investigation into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar.
Reacting to the news, Coca-Cola said: "This lengthy controversy has tarnished the mission and ideals of the Fifa World Cup and we have repeatedly expressed our concerns about these serious allegations."
Adidas, which provides equipment for FIFA tournaments, said it is "fully committed to creating a culture that promotes the highest standards of ethics and compliance, and we expect the same from our partners".
Credit card giant Visa said: "Our disappointment and concern with Fifa in light of today's developments is profound... we expect Fifa to take swift and immediate steps to address these issues."
UEFA, the European governing body, meets today (Thursday) to discuss whether or not to boycott tomorrow's election. FIFA insisted that the election, where president Sepp Blatter is seeking a fifth term in office, will go ahead despite Wednesday's arrests.
UEFA, headed by former France international Michel Platini - someone seen as a rival to Mr Blatter, said the allegations made are "a disaster for FIFA and tarnish the image of football as a whole".
It said that Friday's vote is at risk of becoming a "farce... Therefore the European associations will have to consider carefully if they should even attend this congress and caution a system, which, if it is not stopped, will ultimately kill football."