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5. FIFA: Marketing chief and three others fired
December 12th, 2006 12:08PM
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In the continuing fallout from the U.S. District Court ruling that overturned FIFA's planned eight-year sponsorship deal with Visa following a federal lawsuit brought by long-time financial services sponsor MasterCard, FIFA dismissed marketing director Jerome Valcke and three other employees.

In a statement on Tuesday, FIFA acknowledged its World Cup sponsorship negotiations with rival credit card firms Visa and MasterCard had "breached [FIFA's] business principles," adding that "FIFA cannot possibly accept such conduct among its own employees."

FIFA said in the context of the contract talks, the four had been accused of "repeated dishonesty during negotiations and of giving false information to the FIFA deciding bodies in question." FIFA added that it was "considering lodging an appeal against the court's judgment, while taking account of the interests of every party involved and seeking suitable solutions."

Valcke was hired in 2003 to head FIFA's marketing and TV operations. The Frenchman was previously head of Paris-based sports marketing firm Sportfive. FIFA brought its marketing and TV operations in house after its long-time marketing firm, ISL, went bust in 2001 and its television partner for the 2002 World Cup, German media giant Kirch, also collapsed.

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