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Soccer-Visa to sign 150-200 million pounds FIFA deal

By Staff
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LONDON, Apr 5 (Reuters) Visa is to sign a 150-200 million pounds (0-350 million) sponsorship deal for the World Cup from 2007 as FIFA's new financial services partner, sources close to the deal told Reuters today.

A source said a meeting between FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Visa chief executive Christopher Rodrigues would confirm the agreement in Zurich tomorrow.

''This is obviously a major undertaking for Visa,'' one source said.

MasterCard is the current financial services partner of world football's governing body and has been allied with the World Cup since 1990.

Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Adidas and Sony have already signed up as official partners with FIFA.

The sources declined to reveal the length of the contract although the FIFA website stated that partnership agreements of this kind would run from 2007 until 2014.

Visa is already an Olympic and Rugby World Cup sponsor and the former deal will run until London 2012.

Thursday's announcement is expected to be made at FIFA House, the governing body's official headquarters in Zurich.

Mike Sherman, Visa vice-president corporate relations, declined to give details when contacted by telephone in Zurich on Thursday.

REUTERS SBJ BS2215

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