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FIFA sponsors call for Sepp Blatter resignation

FIFA sponsors Coca Cola, McDonalds and Visa urge Sepp Blatter to resign as president of world football's governing body.

FIFA sponsors Coca Cola, McDonald's and Visa have called for Sepp Blatter to step down from his role as president of world football's governing body.

Swiss authorities launched an investigation against the 79-year-old on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and a separate claim of misappropriation in relation to a "disloyal payment" made to UEFA president Michel Platini.

The three organisations have urged the Swiss to end his 17-year tenure as FIFA boss due to the damage made to the reputation of the football's governing body from the recent scandals.

Coca Cola said in a statement: "Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish.

"FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach."

McDonald's added: "The events of recent weeks have continued to diminish the reputation of FIFA and public confidence in its leadership.

"We believe it would be in the best interest of the game for FIFA president Sepp Blatter to step down immediately so that the reform process can proceed with the credibility that is needed."

However, the Swiss has refused the demands of the sponsors, as he has insisted that he will not leave his post until his successor has been confirmed in February 2016.

A statement from Blatter's lawyer, Richard Cullen, said: "While Coca Cola is a valued sponsor of FIFA, Mr Blatter respectfully disagrees with its position and believes firmly that his leaving office now would not be in the best interest of FIFA nor would it advance the process of reform and therefore, he will not resign."

Platini and Prince Ali are among the candidates to replace Blatter as president next year.

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