FIFA marketing chief axed in sponsorship fiasco

FIFA%20logoFIFA marketing director Jerome Valcke has been ousted alongside three key executives after a US court last week ruled that the football body has repeatedly "lied" in its sponsorship negotiations with Visa and MasterCard.

FIFA head of sales Stefan Schuster, head of business development and sales Robert Lampman and its in-house lawyer Tom Houseman have also left the company following a drawn out legal battle over the termination of its 16-year sponsorship agreement with MasterCard when the contract come up for renewal.

Last week the United States District Court of New York upheld a complaint from MasterCard that FIFA had replaced it with sector rivals Visa in a $180m (£92m) deal for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups without their knowledge.

The legal battle centered on claims FIFA had begun negotiating with a rival during an exclusive 90-day period when MasterCard that offered the credit card company a final right of refusal.

The court ruling found that FIFA negotiators had repeatedly lied to both parties over the nature of its sponsorship rights ordering the governing body to honour its commitment to MasterCard for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup tournaments.

Noah Hanft, general counsel for MasterCard Worldwide, says: "This ruling stands as a victory for sound business ethics over the deceptive and deceitful practices perpetrated by certain members of the FIFA management team. We now look forward to reforms in FIFA’s business practices going forward."

FIFA declined to comment on any matters relating to the legal case.

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