The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating possible bribery law violations by companies with links to FIFA or other soccer entities, including possibly Nike, Reuters reported.
The civil probe is “in its early stages and may not lead to any findings of wrongdoing or enforcement action,” the Reuters article states. Other major publicly traded companies who are FIFA sponsors include McDonald's, Visa and Coca-Cola.
In a statement to Reuters last Friday, a Nike spokesman said that the company “is committed to cooperating with any government investigation into the FIFA matter.”
Nike has not been specifically named or charged with any wrongdoing. But the 161-page indictment made public in late May from the Department of Justice (DOJ) claims a multinational sportswear company headquartered in the U.S. was involved in “bribes and kickbacks” used to sign a sponsorship deal with the Brazilian national soccer federation in 1996. Nike signed a reported $200 million deal with the Brazilian Football Confederation in 1996 following Brazil’s 2004 World Cup win and the arrangement continues.
Nike said at the time, “There is no allegation in the charging documents that any Nike employee was aware of or knowingly participated in any bribery or kickback scheme.”
The Reuters story is here.