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Media and Marketing: FIFA is warned by its sponsors


FIFA president Sepp Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter

THE uncovering of potential corruption in the awarding of hosting rights for the FIFA World Cup to Qatar is hitting the football organisation where it hurts the most – its sponsors.

Disquiet is growing among the tournament's biggest brands, after the newspaper published a second week of allegations about Qatar's surprising World Cup winning bid in December 2010, which said documents leaked by an unidentified senior FIFA official appear to show Qatar's former FIFA Vice President Mohamed bin Hammam paid millions to soccer officials around the world to secure their backing.

Sony and Adidas are leading the ranks of corporate sponsors now pressing FIFA, soccer's governing body, to fully investigate the allegations. Visa and Coca Cola, two more of FIFA's biggest partners, have also expressed concern. "The negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners," a spokesperson for Germany-based Adidas said, while Sony said it expects FIFA "to adhere to its principles".

Other big names who have been forced to make statements on the matter include Hyundai, BP and Anheuser-Buschh.

Michael Garcia, a former US federal prosecutor who has been investigating the claims for more than a year, said last week he'll file a report next month to German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who'll decide if there is a case.

Eckert presides over the adjudicatory arm of FIFA's ethics committee.


GAA rights go to News UK

NEWS UK has secured the rights to show highlights of GAA matches to subscribers of The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times in what British media guru Roy Greenslade calls "its relentless pursuit" of clips for its newspapers' digital offering.

Rupert Murdoch's company has secured the rights to show highlights from both football and hurling.

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This includes clips from 85 all-Ireland championship matches and even more from the national leagues, which will also be available in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada on the Irish Sun's app.

News UK's subscribers already get video coverage of Premier League and FA Cup football matches, Premiership rugby games and England's international cricket matches.


ReBo appeal for new PR gurus

IF ANY organisation could do with public relations services, its ReBo, the Credit Union Restructuring Board, the state body set up early last year to assist in the restructuring and merging of the country's worst-hit credit unions.

Many of these were decimated by the recession, meaning the unpopular option of merging, or closing, is now their only option. Around 90 credit unions are considering merging with one another, ReBo said in March. Controversially, this can take place without members' approval once the merging credit unions boards get the approval of the Central Bank. The organisation is now looking for a PR team to help "create and deliver its message". The closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday June 20.

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