FIFA challenged over tobacco sponsorship of of Euro2000 TV coverage

Wednesday 31 May 2000

ASH news release: 31st  May 2000 – World No Tobacco Day


FIFA challenged over tobacco sponsorship of Euro2000 TV coverage

ASH is using World No Tobacco Day to challenge FIFA, the international federation of football associations, to act to prevent tobacco companies from using televised coverage of international football matches to promote their products in developing countries.  FIFA prides itself on its tobacco-free stance.


ASH is highlighting a current example of this practice in which Dunhill, a cigarette brand owned by British-based firm British American Tobacco, is sponsoring the Malaysian TV broadcast of the forthcoming UEFA Euro2000 football tournament.


Lord Faulkner of Worcester, who was the Vice Chairman of the Government’s Football Task Force, has joined ASH in raising this issue by writing to FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter, enclosing a copy of a recent Malaysian newspaper advertisement for the forthcoming televising of Euro2000 in which the Dunhill logo is clearly displayed.


Lord Faulkner said: “FIFA must act to prevent tobacco companies from exploiting the rapid global growth in TV coverage of football matches.”  He urged FIFA to require that “no tobacco sponsorship” clauses are written into contracts between broadcasters and FIFA’s confederations and members (1).


Mary Assunta of the Consumers Association of Penang in Malaysia said: “FIFA’s stand against tobacco sponsorship is to be welcomed, but it is no good if televised football matches are still promoting tobacco.  FIFA’s policies should reach right down to the homes of Asians”.


Emma Must, ASH’s International Campaign Manager, added:  “Despite FIFA’s best intentions, tobacco companies have found a back door way of using football to promote smoking. This is another powerful reason why governments should put their full weight behind a global ban on all forms of tobacco promotion (2)”.


Notes to editors:

(1) Lord Faulkner’s letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter is attached.

(2) Negotiations between governments on the World Health Organization’s International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which could include a global ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, commence in Geneva in October this year.  More details at


Contact:            Emma Must, ASH   020 739 5902 (w)   020 738 6506 (h)

Lord Faulkner   0385 261 785 (m)   020 8345 6789 #850626 (pager)

Mary Assunta, Consumers Association of  Penang, Malaysia   00 604 229 3511 (w)

Derek Yach, World Health Organization, Geneva  00 41 7921 73404 (m)