Calling for a red card? | india | Hindustan Times
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Calling for a red card?

The issue of the World Cup screening rights dampens the city?s soccer spirit, writes Sonal Srivastava.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 16:17 IST

As the world’s greatest sports extravaganza, the FIFA World Cup kicks off, the issues related to the screening of the gala event and the use of official logos by unauthorised agencies such as pubs and clubs are coming under the scanner.

The broadcasting rights for FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) in India are with the ESPN Star Sports, which is “in the process of tying up with certain resto-pubs and bars for the screening of the World Cup,” says Nirmal Dayani of ESPN.

Reportedly, only ESPN can provide the cut-outs of players and related merchandise to those screening the matches.

This comes in the wake of several watering holes in the city trying to cash in on the World Cup mania through individual promotions and festivals.

Though the pubs and clubs can screen the matches, they cannot use the word FIFA in their promotional campaigns. Since the idea is to leverage the FIFA fever, it will dampen the sporting spirit of these outlets.

The FIFA website states that the ‘marks’ like 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, or 2006 FIFA World Cup or FIFA World Cup, are reserved exclusively for FIFA and its commercial affiliates.

For instance, a pub is not supposed to sell a certain brand of liquor which is not the official sponsor for the World Cup as part of its own campaign for soccer.

Anyway, the action has begun, so, just go catch it, at home if not a pub near you!