Adidas SE (ADDYY) has become the latest company to blast Fifa after top officials at the governing body of world soccer were arrested on corruption charges, related to broadcasting and marketing deals.
The news comes amid controversy swirling around Fifa’s decision to allow Russia and Qatar to host the next two World Cups, in 2018 and 2022.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter, however, wasn’t charged among the officials, according to the report.
In a statement released Wednesday, the German sports apparel manufacturer called for the organization to be “more transparent” in “everything they do.”
Adidas has stuck with Fifa despite increasing accusations of corruption against it including (most awkwardly from a PR point a view) in its home country, Germany. In 2013, Adidas extended its sponsorship of the World Cup, Fifa’s flagship event and the most valuable franchise in world sport, until 2030.
The award of the 2022 tournament to Qatar has been particularly controversial. The tiny, super-rich Gulf state is widely considered unsuitable to its extreme heat and its poor record on labor rights. The International Trade Union Confederation, which represents the rights of workers globally, estimates that 62 workers helping to construct the venue will die for each day a game is played. Over 1,400 mainly Indian and Nepali migrant workers have already died building the stadiums and other infrastructure for the tournament, according to the ITUC.
The full statement to CNBC from Adidas reads:
The adidas Group is fully committed to creating a culture that promotes the highest standards of ethics and compliance, and we expect the same from our partners. Following todays news, we can therefore only encourage FIFA to continue to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do.
adidas is the world’s leading football brand and we will continue to support football on all levels.
Last week, Visa had become the latest sponsor to release a statement expressing concern over Qatar as the host city for the 2022 World Cup.
For more on Adidas from Fortune, check out Daniel Roberts’ feature on Kanye West and the sports apparel company from earlier in May.
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