FIFA signs long term deal with Chinese company

FIFA (AFP)
FIFA (AFP)

Tokyo - FIFA has signed an eight-year partnership deal with Alibaba E-Auto for the Club World Cup, reflecting China's vast marketing potential.

FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil announced the deal with the car manufacturing brand of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, the world's largest online and mobile commerce company.

"China is not a market which FIFA is strong in yet to be honest," Weil said.

"FIFA is especially looking into the market to help develop football in the market... China cannot be neglected because it's a huge market."

Alibaba E-Auto branding will have a strong presence at both stadiums for this year's tournament which is being held in Japan from December 10-20.

The Club World Cup features the top clubs from FIFA's six continental confederations. European champion Barcelona and Copa Libertadores winner River Plate are the favorites to reach the final on Dec. 20.

The announcement of the deal comes at a time when FIFA was concerned about its capacity to keep and attract sponsors following a wide-ranging bribery scandal.

"It would be wrong for me to say yes, we have not faced difficulties," Weil said. "You can imagine in the given period and given circumstance with what's going on at FIFA.

"It is not easy to sell. We are in discussions with different companies but we are also realistic to say this will not change before the reforms will be approved from the Congress and before a new president is elected on the 26th of February."

loading... Live
Chelsea 2
Watford 0
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
47% - 3411 votes
Cricket
11% - 808 votes
Football
18% - 1315 votes
Athletics
2% - 142 votes
Boxing
1% - 59 votes
Cycling
2% - 154 votes
Golf
5% - 372 votes
Motorsport
7% - 532 votes
Tennis
3% - 229 votes
Water sports
1% - 63 votes
American sports
1% - 57 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 192 votes
Vote