ZURICH – FIFA President Sepp Blatter will not resign ahead of February's emergency presidential election despite calls Friday from major sponsors Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Visa to go now.
A statement from Blatter's lawyer says, "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."
Coca-Cola became the first FIFA sponsor to call on Blatter to immediately stand down as president of world soccer's governing body. That was followed by a similar call from fast food giant McDonald's and financial services giant Visa.
The intervention from the major sponsors come a week after the 79-year-old Swiss was placed under criminal investigation by Swiss authorities for alleged financial wrongdoing at FIFA, which he has led since 1998.