FIFA Loses Sponsors for the Next World Cup

February 10, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. bidding /ˈbɪdɪŋ/ (n.) – the act of offering a certain amount of money to gain or win over something
ExampleBidding for the footballs used in the FIFA World Cup started at $500 during the auction.

2. affiliation /əˌfɪliˈeɪʃən/ (n.) – refers to the official relationship of one company to another
Example: He ended his company’s affiliation with the media company because of a scandal.

3. renew /rɪˈnu, -ˈnyu/ (v.) – to continue an activity or agreement that has already ended
Example: The company renewed its sponsorship for the football team this month.

4. bribery /ˈbraɪbəri/ (n.) – the act of forcing a person to do something by illegally giving money
Example: Paying professional athletes to intentionally play poorly is an act of bribery

5. transparency /trænsˈpɛərənsi, -ˈpær-/ (n.) – the ethical value of being open and honest to accountability
Example: The transparency of a company reduces the possibility of corruption.


Read the text below.
FIFA struggles with securing sponsorship for the next two World Cups, following accusations of corruption in its bidding system.

The sports organization recently lost two of its major partners last year. Emirates [em -uhr-uhts, uh- meer -uhts], the first airline to sponsor the FIFA World Cup, ended its affiliations with FIFA in November. This was soon followed by Sony [soh-nee] after a month. Emirates and Sony began sponsoring for FIFA in 2006, but the sponsorship contracts expired at the end of last year. This year, neither of the two renewed their partnership with FIFA.

Recent allegations of bribery on FIFA’s bidding process are said to have caused the companies’ withdrawal. It is believed that the selection of hosts for the next two World Cups was fixed. FIFA organized an investigation headed by Michael Garcia, a former U.S. federal attorney, to resolve the issue. 

Garcia submitted a report after 18 months of investigation. The report was reviewed by FIFA’s ethics committee, who declared that no evidence of bribery was found. However, Garcia opposed the committee’s statement. He said that the summary released by FIFA to the media was incomplete and inconsistent with his original report. 

Garcia and other FIFA officials had requested that a more complete version of the summary be released to the public. However, the request was rejected.

As FIFA continues to face these accusations, World Cup sponsors such as Adidas and Coca-Cola responded unfavorably to FIFA’s lack of transparency, saying that the organization handled the investigation poorly.

Russia will be hosting the 2018 World Cup, while Qatar [KAH-tahr, kuh-TAHR] won the bid on the 2022 World Cup.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Given the bribery allegations, do you think companies should still sponsor FIFA? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, how will these allegations affect FIFA’s fans? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think should be done to FIFA if the allegations are proven? Why?
·         Why do you think it is a big deal to host the FIFA World Cup? Please explain your answer. 

February 10, 2015