http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10767766Soccer: Shameful silence of Fifa's sponsors
At the World Cup finals in South Africa last year you could hardly move for the corporate messages that bombarded every level of your consciousness until you were waking in the middle of the night with the tune from the Coca-Cola
television commercial playing in your head.
The credibility of Blatter's regime is shot to bits. From the fallout from the ISL collapse to the vote for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup and on to his uncontested Fifa presidency election, the organisation has gone beyond parody. Or, as Rio Ferdinand put it, Fifa has become "sitcom material".
In Brazil in 2014, will Fifa's partners ignore all this as they project more images of joyous supporters and 3D tellies? Or is someone going to tell them that, in the current climate, they stand out like a middle-aged divorcee at a Katy Perry gig? That if they want to reflect the fan experience - the phrase is unpleasant, but it is the language they understand - then they need to get with the programme and effect change.
When I rang Adidas
, the woman in the press office thanked me for "reaching out" and then, when I suggested we had a chat about Blatter, kept repeating to me that if I provided my email address she would send a statement.
With their Lionel Messi/Derrick Rose ads, adidas portray themselves as the preferred choice of the cool kids in the schoolyard. They should never be associated with anything as lame as ducking a straight question. One can only imagine that, in private, Fifa's global partners are saying exactly the same about Blatter as the rest of us. They should say the same in public and see what happens. I can guarantee they would like the reaction.