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Fifa Emirates

Blatter race row sees Emirates review its sponsorship of FIFA

By Hamish Mackay

November 18, 2011 | 2 min read

Airline Emirates is reviewing its sponsorship of FIFA while other leading sponsors have failed to publicly support embattled president Sepp Blatter in the wake of his comments about racism in football, according to media sources.

Marketing Magazine’s online website reports the Dubai-based airline is one of FIFA’s six official partners and is concerned that its brand has been tarnished by Blatter’s remarks and the outrage they have caused.

The row erupted following comments by Blatter which seemed to suggest that racism was an issue that should be settled on the football field.

Blatter told news channel CNN: "There is no racism [on the field], but maybe there is a word or gesture that is not correct. The one affected by this should say this is a game and shake hands."

Emirates, which also sponsor Arsenal FC, are now considering not renewing its sponsorship beyond the Brazil World Cup.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Emirates vice-president Boutros said: 'We are seriously thinking about not renewing our partnership with FIFA beyond 2014. We don't get into politics but we believe the situation with FIFA went beyond an internal problem and became much bigger.'

Adidas, meanwhile, failed to publicly support Blatter and issued a strong statement denouncing racism in sport.

A spokesperson said: "Adidas doesn’t discuss its sponsorship arrangements as these are confidential. But our position is very clear. Adidas is totally opposed to racism in football and in fact any sport at any level."

Blatter has claimed his comments had been misunderstood.

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