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World Cup sponsors dismayed by #Fifagate

Adidas and Coca-Cola are calling on Fifa to increase transparency and resolve the controversy.

The global football's governing body Fifa's headquarters in Zurich. Picture: AFP.

NEW YORK - German sportswear company Adidas and beverage company Coca-Cola Co called on Fifa to increase transparency and resolve the controversy.

"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," Coca Cola said in a statement.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and McDonald's Corp said they were in contact with Fifa and monitoring the situation.

World Cup sponsors are in an awkward position, experts said, because they are under pressure from consumers to distance themselves from any corruption, but such sponsorships are lucrative in the long term.

"The value of the sponsorships is very high or they wouldn't be prepared to pay so much for it," said Interbrand Chief Executive Jez Frampton. "Football is one of the few global properties that enables you to connect with people around the world."

Rob Prazmark, president of 21 Sports & Entertainment Marketing Group, a global sports and event sales agency said companies were unlikely to pull their sponsorships altogether.

"These sponsors put a lot of money into associating with the World Cup," Prazmark said. "They'll give them a little bit of time to get their house in order."

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