11/20/2011 02:26 EST | Updated 01/20/2012 00:12 EST

FIFA sponsor Emirates airline speaks out against racism amid uproar over Blatter's comments

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A prominent FIFA sponsor is speaking out against racism in football following uproar over President Sepp Blatter's comments.

Dubai airline Emirates said Sunday it "completely abhors racism" and supports efforts to abolish "all forms of discrimination in football."

Emirates says it's watching developments within football's governing body closely, and notes it has "no role in the management of the organization."

The area's biggest carrier stopped short of criticizing Blatter. The FIFA boss expressed regret Friday for saying that racist abuse does not exist in football and that racial incidents could be settled by a handshake.

Emirates' eight-year, $195 million sponsorship deal expires in 2014.