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Emirates hints at Fifa return

The Emirates airline has expressed an interest in renewing its commercial ties with Fifa when the corruption scandal currently engulfing football’s global governing body has been resolved.

The Dubai carrier opted against renewing its top-tier partnership with Fifa last November, under which it served as the airline partner of the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

At the time, Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke insisted that Emirates’ decision had nothing to do with investigations into Russia and Qatar’s successful bids to stage World Cups in 2018 and 2022.

However, following a dramatic few days in which Fifa president Sepp Blatter resigned on the back of Swiss police arresting several of the game’s prominent officials on corruption charges filed by US prosecutors, Emirates president Tim Clark said, according to the Reuters news agency: “A lot of it not meeting our expectations has been explained by what has been revealed.”

He added: “I'm very glad that our name was not associated with (Fifa) at this stage. I’d like to think that when it's all sorted out we get back in because it (World Cup sponsorship) is great for us. We're so football orientated.”

Emirates has a vast portfolio of football sponsorships, including a stadium naming rights agreement with English Premier League club Arsenal and major deals with French Ligue 1 champion Paris Saint-Germain and Italian Serie A team AC Milan.