Blow to corporate stadium names

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Fifa will not compromise on the use of corporate names for stadiums during the 2010 World Cup finals.

Markus Siegler, Fifa's communications directors, said the stadiums named after companies will have to get alternative names for the duration of the tournament.

Some of the major stadiums affected by the Fifa requirements are Soccer City, Loftus, Free State Rugby Stadium and King's Park.

Siegler was quick to point out that Fifa will not compensate companies who have paid to acquire naming rights for any stadium.

"There will be no compensation; that is exactly the contract that has been signed between Fifa and the bidding committee during the negotiations," he said.

"Those companies will have to drop their names for the duration of the 2010 World Cup [from June 11 to July 11 2010].

"We have done it in the past. In Germany, we had a stadium built by an insurance company. During the tournament, the stadium was called the Fifa Stadium in Munich.

"Fifa owns the rights of the whole World Cup. The use of official marks and emblems will only be allowed in editorials, not for commercial benefit," said Siegler.

He said Fifa and the 2010 Local Organising Committee were planning to host regular media day workshops in all the host cities. Tim Modise, LOC communications director, said they were using the African Legacy Project through CAF to promote the World Cup on the continent.