Fifa’s sponsorship ‘black hole’ is so acute that 27 out of 34 slots for potential partners remain unfilled.
The corruption scandal has proved so toxic that no new sponsors have joined since the 2014 World Cup, while several have severed all ties with the world governing body including top partners Sony and Emirates.
Out of 14 tier-one and tier-two partner slots, only seven are currently filled. Efforts to find 20 regional sponsors – four from each continent – have failed completely.
The loss of income has had a drastic effect on Fifa’s finances – it has forecast making a deficit of $100 million (€92 million) for 2015, the first time it will have made a loss since 2001.
Fifa marketing director Thierry Weil said: "Fifa is in contact with various companies and potential sponsors, but we are also realistic, and understand that until reforms are passed at the extraordinary congress, and a new president is elected, that it will be challenging to sign new partnerships.
“Given the ongoing discussions, I am confident that once the reforms are approved by the congress, we will indeed be able to realise our sponsorship concept.”
Fifa presidential candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, the head of Asian football who is viewed as favourite to succeed Sepp Blatter, said rebuilding confidence in a new, clean Fifa in order to restore sponsors' confidence was a priority.
He said: “You have to assure them about the reforms and the integrity of this organisation will be at the highest level and will be the highest priority for any president not just myself.
“I think after the election if you have a president with a clear mandate with the integrity of the organisation given the highest priority it will be beneficial for everyone including the sponsors.
“It is definitely a priority. They are our partners and we have to share that responsibility as they are a stakeholder in the game.
“ In the past there were a lot of issues people were concerned about – nobody knows the salaries, the bonuses and so on, so if all this is done openly I’m sure everybody would be happy to jump on board.”
The last major sponsor to join Fifa was Russian global energy company Gazprom in 2013.