By: Rubén Terrazas, Copy Editor/Translator
All over the world, sponsors and businesses alike are nervously watching the developments in the investigation of FIFA’s alleged wrongdoings.
For fans, even if the accusations are something almost everyone suspected the whole time, the news came as an illegal kick to the shin deserving of at least a yellow card. How do you dare sully our jogo bonito with your shennanigans?
For sponsors, on the other hand, the blow turns into something more akin to disaster, more like the threat of a red card with a possible indefinite suspension and public shaming. Sponsors of every size and origin are taking a cautions and worried approach to the situation.
For a sport used to taking financial support from companies the world over, the recent developments threaten to cut its lifestyle lifeline. Without big-time sponsorships, fútbol will have all the economic weight of lacrosse or, better yet, rugby.
Both tournaments (Gold Cup this year and the special edition Centenary América Cup in 2016) are to be played in their entirety in U.S. territory. For thousands of fans, these were international showcases where to watch and admire the heroes only seen on TV. And for Hispanic fans in particular, with the Centenary América Cup being played outside South American territory for the first time, it would mean seeing superstars the size of Messi and Neymar play for real and not just in a money-making friendly.
While both Concacaf and Conmebol claim the scandal won’t affect the respective continental tournaments from taking place, fans and sponsors alike brace for what could be the most unique international fútbol events in modern times.