FIFA sponsor Hyundai 'extremely concerned' by bribery scandal

Hyundai Motor, along with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors, forms the world's fifth-largest carmaking group (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-Je)

Major FIFA corporate sponsor Hyundai Motor said Friday it was "extremely concerned" by the corruption scandal engulfing world football's governing body and was following events "closely."

The South Korean carmaker, which with affiliate Kia Motors makes up the world's fifth largest auto group, signed up in 2010 to become FIFA's official automotive partner until 2022.

Hyundai-Kia is a presenting sponsor for the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russia, along with the likes of Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa, Budweiser and McDonald's.

But after seven FIFA officials were arrested in Switzerland for bribery, Hyundai and Kia released identical statements that suggested a review of the sponsorship deal.

"As a company that places the highest priority on ethical standards and transparency, Hyundai Motor is extremely concerned about the legal proceedings being taken against FIFA executives and will continue to monitor the situation closely," the Hyundai statement said.

The arrests came as part of a US Justice Department case that named nine officials of football's governing body, and five sports marketing officials, in a number of instances of bribes and kickbacks involving sponsorships over the past two decades.