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Companies asked to respond to questions on their sponsorship of FIFA and human rights

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre contacted adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa, Hyundai Kia Motor, McDonald's, Gazprom, and Budweiser with specific questions on their FIFA sponsorship, human rights, and workers' rights. 

No companies responded to the specific questions asked, although adidas and Coca-Cola provided general statements on their sponsorship of FIFA and human rights. Visa, Hyundai Kia Motor, McDonald's, Gazprom, and Budweiser did not respond. However, Visa has released a separate statement.

FIFA partners and World Cup sponsors were asked:

1. What is the nature and scope of your company’s sponsorship of FIFA?

2. Does your company consider human rights in its decision-making on sponsorship, including its FIFA sponsorship? If so, how?

3. Does your company agree that FIFA should commit explicitly to respecting human rights, and incorporate the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into its operations?

4. Does your company agree that FIFA should use its leverage to urge host countries to meet international human rights standards, including on labour and discrimination?

adidas emphasised its commitment to workers' rights and said:

"We are in a constant dialogue with our partner FIFA and know that FIFA has repeatedly urged the Qatari authorities to ensure decent conditions for migrant workers in the country. There have been significant improvements and these efforts are ongoing; but everyone recognizes that more needs to be done in a collective effort with all stakeholders involved."

Coca-cola said:

"We welcome constructive dialogue on human rights issues, and we will continue to work with many individuals, human rights organizations, sports groups, government officials and others to develop solutions and foster greater respect for human rights in sports and elsewhere.  We continue to encourage  FIFA to take a similar approach."

The full responses from Coca-Cola and adidas are below.

More information on FIFA and human rights
Numerous concerns have been raised about FIFA’s events with human rights abuses in recent years: including exploitation of migrant workers involved in construction; police violence against protestors; and government crackdowns on freedom of expression. See, for example, information on impacts of infrastructure projects for the Brazil World Cup 2014 and Qatar World Cup 2022, and human rights concerns with Russia’s hosting of the World Cup 2018.

An in-depth report documenting the human rights issues linked to mega sporting event produced by The Institute for Human Rights and Business provides useful context and includes recommendations for stakeholders, including sponsors and governing bodies.

 

 

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Company response
27 May 2015

adidas response

Author: adidas Group

The adidas Group is committed to ensuring fair labour practices, fair wages and safe working conditions in factories throughout our global supply chain. These active efforts are guided by our core values as a company as well as by our Workplace Standards - contractual obligations under the manufacturing agreements the adidas Group signs with its main business partners. The Workplace Standards are based on the International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) core labour rights conventions.

We are in a constant dialogue with our partner FIFA and know that FIFA has repeatedly urged the Qatari authorities to ensure decent conditions for migrant workers in the country. There have been significant improvements and these efforts are ongoing; but everyone recognizes that more needs to be done in a collective effort with all stakeholders involved

Company non-response
27 May 2015

Budweiser did not respond

Company response
27 May 2015

Coca-Cola response

Author: Coca-Cola

As a FIFA partner since 1978, we believe the FIFA World Cup is a platform that unites people all over the world, inspiring and celebrating the world's most popular sport while creating memorable experiences for athletes and fans.

We believe that through our partnership and continued involvement with FIFA we can help foster optimism and unity, while making a positive difference in the communities we serve.

The Coca-Cola Company does not condone human rights abuses anywhere in the world.

We welcome constructive dialogue on human rights issues, and we will continue to work with many individuals, human rights organizations, sports groups, government officials and others to develop solutions and foster greater respect for human rights in sports and elsewhere. We continue to encourage FIFA to take a similar approach.

Company non-response
27 May 2015

Gazprom did not respond

Company non-response
27 May 2015

Hyundai Kia Motor did not respond

Company non-response
27 May 2015

McDonald's did not respond

Company non-response
27 May 2015

Visa did not respond