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Pair of FIFA sponsors express concern over Qatar’s Human Rights issues

SeppBlatterFIFA4 (AFP)



Amid ongoing Human Rights issues in Qatar, two of FIFA’s sponsors have come out and expressed their concern.

Visa and Coca-Cola have both publicly made their feelings known with regards to migrant worker abuse. The comments from the pair of long-time FIFA sponsors come after several workers’ rights unions united to begin a campaign that pressured the sport’s governing body’s business partners into taking a stance on the matter of Human Rights.

“We continue to be troubled by the reports coming out of Qatar related to the World Cup and migrant worker conditions,” Visa said in a statement. “We have expressed our grave concern to FIFA and urge them to take all necessary actions to work with the appropriate authorities and organizations to remedy this situation and ensure the health and safety of all involved.”

Coca-Cola, who has been in business with FIFA since 1974, issued a similar statement through a spokesperson.

“The Coca-Cola Company does not condone human rights abuses anywhere in the world,” the spokesperson told “We know FIFA is working with Qatari authorities to address specific labor and human rights issues. We expect FIFA to continue taking these matters seriously and to work toward further progress.”

The other main sponsors – McDonald’s, Adidas, Kia, Hyundai, Gazprom and Budweiser – have either yet to comment or refused to.

There have been Human Rights issues seemingly from the moment Qatar was awarded the hosting rights of the 2022 World Cup back in December 2010.

Several outlets have reported an alarming death toll due to poor working and living conditions, including a report from the Guardian last December that said Nepalese migrants building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup died at a rate of one every two days in 2014.


What do you think of Visa and Coca-Cola coming out and expressing concern over the Humans Rights issues in Qatar? Could you see them pulling the plug on their sponsorship deals with FIFA if things don’t improve in the near future?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Does anyone know when the Coke and Visa deals with FIFA expire? Cynically wondering if they are showing actual concern, or are posturing for a better deal on their re-negotiations.

    • Actually a great question! Look how Fox was appeased for the ’22 Winter World Cup, they were given the ’26 rights without the bidding process. This is all business friends, nothing to see here.

      • Good point. I think Fox had reasonable grounds to sue FIFA for the bait-and switch to a Winter WC. Their “concern” about ratings was placated by getting the ’26 rights well below market costs, especially if that WC is held somewhere in North America (either US or Mexico)

  2. They should just make Gazprom their sole sponsor. They’ll have no issue with corruption and human rights abuses.

  3. I wish these companies got a real backbone and threatened to pull out unless the Cup is removed from Qatar. This is just a disgusting, evil, disgrace.

    • I guess the way it works is that fans who care need to let the sponsors – McD’s, Coke, Visa, etc. know that we will not purchase their products if they don’t make a stand against the issues in Qatar.

      • this aint easy to do, try to contact somebody at Sony… you end up talking to some kid in philipines.

      • STOP…making me laugh. I shouldn’t be making this much noise in a shared space.

        He he


      • The ONLY way that FIFA will move the WC out of Qatar is if the sponsors threaten to walk or if a consumer boycott of the sponsors spurs them to act. We saw this play out last fall with the NFL sponsors in the wake of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson suspensions.

        Other than Blatter dropping dead of heart attack, I don’t see FIFA ever admitting the mistake that is Qatar 2022.

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