FIFA sponsors have welcomed Sepp Blatter's shock resignation as president amid a corruption scandal. But as Amy Pollock reports Visa and others are still warning they expect a swift overhaul at soccer's world governing body.
To be associated with the beautiful game - and its audience - is a huge draw. Now FIFA's disgruntled sponsors have welcomed Sepp Blatter's surprise resignation. Visa and other key partners are pleased the man at the top of football's governing body has gone - it's the first step, they say, towards the wholesale reform the sport needs. Richard Hunter is head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF EQUITIES AT HARGREAVES LANSDOWN, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "The sponsors are going to need to be confident that the organisation and the sport with which they're dealing has a clean bill of health, so it is important, even before the next World Cup in 2018, that some significant progress is made in cleaning up the operation." Since Blatter resigned, Interpol has announced that two former FIFA officials are on its 'red notice' wanted list. That's on top of the US investigation of alleged theft and bribery going back 24 years. And the Swiss criminal inquiry into the award of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. The sponsors are not getting away without some scrutiny of their role. Dr David Webber is an expert in the political economy of football. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPARTMENT OF POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, DR DAVID WEBBER, SAYING: "It was only when financial irregularities were starting to be reported that sponsors themselves were getting a little bit jittery." The clamour for reform from fans dismayed by the negative coverage is loud and clear. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPARTMENT OF POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, DR DAVID WEBBER, SAYING: "The headlines should be about football, they should not be about FIFA. FIFA do not own football, FIFA simply own football in trust. It is a game of the people, it should be run for the people." Attention turns now to FIFA's new leadership. Chung Mong-joon, the billionaire scion of South Korea's Hyundai conglomerate - one of the organisation's top sponsors - is considering running. Whoever gets the top job will have to convince sponsors and fans that football is safe in their hands.