FIFA under pressure on Caribbean rights

Date Published: 
2001-08-10
Source: 
sportbusiness.com

He will meet Selby Browne, managing director of Caribbean Sports Television Network in Zurich this week to discuss claims that a rights deal agreed with FIFA's now defunct marketing agency ISL is not being honoured.

Selby Browne says CSTN has already made two payments on a $2.5 million (B2.7m) deal with ISL for the rights. He later received a letter from FIFA general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen explaining that Kirch Group was expected to take over ISL's rights portfolio and would "enable you to continue to exploit the rights previously licenced to you".

But earlier this year Browne received a letter from Kirch Group which referred to rights to a number of secondary events but made no mention of the World Cup.

Browne is likely to seek assurances that what he believed to be a deal has not been affected by FIFA politics. In September the UK's Daily Mail newspaper revealed the contents of a letter to Blatter from Jack Warner, a FIFA vice president and president of CONCACAF regional federation, in which he threatened to pull his support and that of the Trinidad government from staging September's FIFA Under 17 World Championship if he did not acquire the 2002 World Cup rights.

Browne and Blatter are due to come face-to-face in Zurich tomorrow or Wednesday morning and legal action is believed to be likely if CSTN does not receive the assurances it requires.