Tobacco Giant Waits on Football Sponsorship

The US tobacco giant Philip Morris has temporarily delayed discussions to renew a contract with the Marlboro League, a grouping of 11 football teams, until the formation of the next government, football and industry spokesmen said Monday.

The tobacco company’s three-year-old contract expires this year and discussions were last held in late July to discuss the possibility of renewing the contract, said Sin Sok, president of the Cambodian Football Federation.

“Marlboro did not make any commitments or suggestions at that time,” Sin Sok said. “I expect no problems, but Marlboro is waiting for the new government to form.”

A spokesman for EAC, the import-export company that represents Marlboro cigarettes in Cambodia, said the company’s decision will depend “mostly on the political climate” but that it is also examining financial issues.

Last year Marlboro spent about $90,000 on the Cambodian football league, the EAC spokes­man said. He would not say how much of the market Marlboro cigarettes represent.

Sin Sok said he has not had any offers from other companies to take over the league, but did say the federation is considering starting a second league if Marl­boro does not renew.


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