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FIFA fires 4 employees for dishonesty

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FIFA fires four employees over World Cup sponsoring dispute

Canadian Press

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2006

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) - FIFA fired its director of marketing and TV and three others in the division Tuesday for dishonest sponsorship negotiations.

Jerome Valcke, Tom Houseman, Robert Lampman and Stefan Schuster were let go following a ruling in a U.S. court that said MasterCard could sponsor the 2010 and 2014 World Cups because FIFA didn't play fair when it awarded the rights to credit card rival Visa.

"The FIFA employees who had conducted negotiations with Visa and MasterCard were accused of repeated dishonesty during negotiations and of giving false information to the FIFA deciding bodies in question," FIFA said in a statement.

Last Thursday, a federal court judge in New York blamed FIFA for misleading MasterCard, which had a right of first refusal after sponsoring the 2006 tournament in Germany.

FIFA said it is considering lodging an appeal against the court's judgment, while also seeking suitable solutions for all parties involved.

Visa said it negotiated its global sponsorship agreement in good faith after FIFA assured it the deal was valid and did not conflict with any of MasterCard's rights.

© The Canadian Press 2006

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