McDonalds demands `independent` FIFA reform commission

McDonalds demands `independent` FIFA reform commission

McDonalds on Friday became the third major FIFA sponsor to back a completely independent commission to carry out reforms of the scandal-tainted world football body, an activist group said.

Coca-Cola and Visa have already backed the calls. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has so far only said that the head of a proposed reform task force will be independent. FIFA`s leaders are due to meet major sponsors at a summit sometime in August in a bid to restore confidence.

"In regards to an independent reform commission, we do believe this is an important step in the greater reform that has to happen within FIFA," a spokesman for fast food giant McDonalds said in a letter to the NewFIFANow campaign group.

"An independent commission would bring an appropriate level of credibility, transparency, and neutrality to the role, and ultimately provide sponsors and fans across the globe with the confidence that the reform effort is both meaningful and a step in the right direction."

FIFA was hit by the biggest scandal in its history when seven football officials were arrested in a raid on a Zurich hotel on the eve of a FIFA congress in May. The seven are among 14 people facing charges in the United States over more than $150 million (137.87 million euros) of bribes for marketing and broadcasting contracts.

In parallel, Swiss investigators are looking into the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Following the storm, Blatter has said he will stand down in February when a new FIFA election will be held.

McDonalds, a FIFA sponsor since 1994, had already issued public statements which said the scandals have "severely tarnished FIFA in a way that strikes at the very heart of our sponsorship" and called for "meaningful changes to restore trust and credibility."

Visa has also made an outspoken call for change.

The FIFA executive has proposed creating a 10 person task force which will be led by a person from outside football. All of the other members will be nominated by regional confederations. FIFA has not yet named a leader of the commission, despite its hopes to quickly release a name.

"The composition of the Task Force is work in progress," a FIFA spokeswoman told AFP, declining to comment further on the McDonalds statement.

"We applaud McDonald`s for joining with Coca-Cola and Visa. They understand just how vital it is that reform of FIFA is independent of the deep vested interests surrounding the organisation and its personnel," said NewFIFANow co-founder Jaimie Fuller.