Court says FIFA violated cartel laws in kit row
6 April 2005, NUREMBERG - A regional court on Wednesday said that football's ruling body, FIFA, violated cartel laws when it outlawed the use of the one-piece kit made by Puma for Cameroon at last year's African Nations Cup.
6 April 2005
NUREMBERG - A regional court on Wednesday said that football's ruling body, FIFA, violated cartel laws when it outlawed the use of the one-piece kit made by Puma for Cameroon at last year's African Nations Cup.
The judge, Ingrid Kefer, said in the first day of court proceedings that FIFA had acted in an inadmissible fashion and that the kit did not violate FIFA rules.
Puma are seeking EUR 2 million in compensation in the lawsuit against FIFA and want the kit to be allowed again.
Puma say that FIFA first sanctioned the new kit but then banned it, suggesting that the ban came after pressure from Puma's rivals Adidas, one of FIFA's official partners.
But Kefer said she will not take into account possible influence by third parties and would reach a ruling based on cartel laws alone.
Puma spokesman Ulf Santjer said that FIFA had been informed about the new kit almost a year ahead of the continental event in Tunisia and had not intervened.
FIFA outlawed the kit at the tournament in early 2004, fined Cameroon EUR 130,000 and imposed a six-point deduction in Cameroon's World Cup qualifying campaign. The points penalty was later lifted again. Puma paid the fine.
Kefer said the kit did not violate FIFA rules which say that it must consist of a shirt and shorts.
"The rules don't say that the two parts can't be linked together," said Kefer.
The judge also said that FIFA never clarified what exactly was wrong with the kit when it outlawed it.
FIFA now have four weeks to present their arguments in the high-profile case.
The verdict is expected on 1 June.
Subject: German news