Puma Ends South Africa Deal
Amidst scandal, Puma has opted out of its deal with the South African national team.
FIFA reported last year that South Africa’s matches against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia, and Guatemala were fixed leading up to the 2010 World Cup.
The move adds insult to injury for South Africa, who failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“Following match-fixing allegation made against [the South African Football Association] along with inappropriate responses from within the football organisation (including the suspension of senior officials), Puma terminated the contract with immediate effect,” said Puma in a statement to Reuters.
Puma sponsors top African football countries like Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Cameroon.
Russian Football Seeking Novatek Pact
The Russian Football Union (RFS) is working toward a multimillion-dollar agreement with natural gas producer Novatek.
According to association president Nikolai Tolstykh, the deal would go further toward paying down the $25 million in debt the association accumulated under previous chief Sergei Fursenko. The Novatek deal is believed to be worth about $7.8 million.
RFS is attempting to use potential exposure during next year’s World Cup coverage as a bargaining chip, according to R-Sport. The Russian national team qualified for the tournament earlier this week.
Novatek is Russia’s second-largest gas producer after Gazprom, which previously sponsored the association. However, Gazprom did not accept a proposal for renewal last December.
Real Madrid to Sell Naming Rights
In an effort to offset stadium renovation costs, Real Madrid is exploring the possibility of selling naming rights to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
“We are working on a sponsor. We are on with it,” said club president Florentino Perez. “At best, the stadium will have a name added to it if we can find one.”
Emirates is believed to be the frontrunner. The Dubai-based airline is already the club’s chief sponsor.
Plans to renovate the 66-year old stadium have already been approved by the club’s members. Perez says a decision on one of four design proposals should be made by the end of the month.
“[I]f they hurry up, then we’ll see if by the summer we can start work on what will be something very emblematic for the 21st century Bernabeu,” Perez told Punto Pelota.
Man Utd Launches Trophy Tour
Manchester United and DHL are giving fans around the world a chance to see the Premier League trophy up close.
DHL will transport the trophy to 31 worldwide destinations over the coming months. The tour will also include United artifacts from the team’s museum at Old Trafford.
The tour kicks off in Rio de Janeiro on October 30. Among the stops on the five-month tour are New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Moscow, and Dubai.
Club group managing director Richard Arnold called last year’s league title a “huge milestone” for the club and relishes the opportunity to “celebrate this achievement on a global scale.”