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Munich upset with FIFA beer sponsorship
Updated: 2004-04-20 08:42

The 2006 World Cup may have a distinctly American flavor if FIFA's beer contract remains in place.

Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. has a deal with FIFA, world soccer's governing body, that gives the American company exclusive rights to sell beer in and around World Cup stadiums. Anheuser-Busch has been a sponsor or marketing partner of the World Cup in each tournament since 1986.

Munich officials are upset and want Bavarian beer sold at the tournament, too. After all, Munich is the home of Oktoberfest, billed as the world's biggest beer bash.

"When the world comes to Bavaria in 2006, our guests should be able to rely on learning about our unique cultural goods," local Greens party leader Sepp Duerr said Monday.

Local leaders are urging Bavarian governor Edmund Stoiber to take up the issue.

Gerhard Ohneis, chief of the Augustiner brewery, said the FIFA sponsoring contract would "destroy old traditions."

The World Cup runs from June 9-July 9, 2006, in a dozen German cities.

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