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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 21:21 GMT
Mastercard wins World Cup lawsuit
Visa and Mastercard signs on a New York advertising board
Visa and Mastercard dominate the credit card industry
Mastercard has won a US lawsuit against the world football body, Fifa, which wanted to end its sponsorship of the World Cup in favour of rival Visa.

The federal judge ordered Fifa to drop its planned eight-year deal with Visa and instead return to Mastercard for the 2007 to 2014 period.

Mastercard, which has sponsored the World Cup since 1990, said it had right of first refusal on a future deal.

Visa's deal was set to begin in January 2007. Fifa said it will appeal.


"MasterCard's loss of the next Fifa World Cup sponsorship would be, in its now-famous word, priceless," said Judge Loretta Preska, in reference of the firm's advertising slogan.

Fifa said it was "dismayed" by the ruling.

It said it was "convinced that at all times it acted in good faith" and would "vigorously pursue its case"

Visa said it was disappointed by the verdict and was considering all options.

The next World Cup will be held in South Africa in 2010.

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