Coca-Cola calls on Blatter to resign now

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures as he attends a press conference in Marrakech, Morocco. On Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against FIFA President Sepp Blatter. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

ZURICH (AP) – Coca-Cola has become the first FIFA sponsor to call on Sepp Blatter to immediately stand down as president of world soccer’s governing body.

The intervention from the soft drinks giant comes a week after the FIFA president was placed under criminal investigation by the Swiss authorities.

Coca-Cola says it is “calling for FIFA President Joseph Blatter to step down immediately so that a credible and sustainable reform process can begin in earnest.”

The company added: “Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach.”

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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