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Court rules Soccer City should revert to old name

Court rules Soccer City should revert to old name

The stadium famously known as Soccer City for the 2010 World Cup must now revert to its original name, a South African court ruled Wednesday.
The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that First National Bank's pre-World Cup naming deal stands. A private company that manages the stadium for the city of Johannesburg had wanted to stick with Soccer City, saying the international reputation built around the name during the World Cup was too valuable to lose.
As FNB Stadium, the venue hosted major political as well as sporting events. Nelson Mandela held his first mass rally at the stadium on his return to Soweto following his release from prison in 1990.
The bank welcomed Wednesday's ruling.
"FNB and all South Africans can now look forward with excitement to witnessing a long stream of history-making international and local sporting events at FNB Stadium in Soweto," Derek Carstens, a spokesman, said in a statement.
The stadium was almost completely rebuilt for the World Cup, and hosted the opening and final games. First National Bank waived its naming rights for a period leading up to and through the World Cup to meet the requirements of world football's governing body FIFA.
FNB was a World Cup sponsor, but FIFA rules do not allow sponsor's names to be associated with stadiums during World Cups.


Updated : 2021-10-23 18:13 GMT+08:00