Football: World Cup sponsor Coca-Cola 'concerned' over Fifa's transparency

LONDON - World football governing body Fifa is now facing pressure from long-time sponsor Coca-Cola to come clean on the probe into the awarding of hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup touranemnts.

Coca-Cola, a sponsor of the World Cup since 1978, is asking Fifa to increase transparency, after former US attorney Michael Garcia last month urged Fifa to publish his report into the award of World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

Qatar and Russia won the rights to hold the US$5 billion World Cup after a period that left Fifa's executive committee several members short.

Two voters were suspended after telling undercover reporters from the Times of London that their votes could be bought.

Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of the adjudicatory panel of Fifa's ethics committee, said at the time that no details from the 350-page document will be made public until any officials accused of wrongdoing have been notified of the final decisions.

"Anytime with the Fifa World Cup, or Fifa, there is any tainting of the event, we're concerned about it," Amber Steele, director of football management at Coca-Cola, told an audience at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London today.

"We have had all kinds of conversations with Fifa. We see them as our partner, we talk to each other about the good and the bad."

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