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MasterCard Sues Over World Cup Sponsorship

by Peter Andrew
MasterCard Sues Over World Cup Sponsorship

MasterCard International has filed a lawsuit against the F?d?ration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the governing body of the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, to prevent FIFA from accepting Visa International as sponsor to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. According to MasterCard, FIFA entered into the relationship with Visa despite a contractual agreement that gives MasterCard the right of first refusal to continue to be the category-exclusive sponsor for the World Cup.

MasterCard claims that FIFA had already given MasterCard the necessary paperwork to go forward with the sponsorship, only to then inform MasterCard that FIFA had signed a new contract with Visa instead, leaving MasterCard on the outside looking in. ?This action by FIFA is a blatant and deceitful violation of our right of first refusal,? said Noah Hanft, General Counsel, MasterCard International, ?particularly as we had already signed and accepted FIFA’s offer.?

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