March 11, 2010

BetClic hits out at UEFA shirt ban: 'no legal basis'

BetClic chief executive Nicolas Béraud has hit out at UEFA’s refusal to let French football team Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon) wear his company’s logo for tonight’s Champions League tie with Real Madrid, saying it has “no legal basis”.

Béraud and Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michael Aulas released a joint statement that read: “The Champions League is a European competition, so there is no reason to ban any advertising on the shirt of a team that participates in a European competition on the grounds that that the laws of the country where this team plays its national championships does not authorise this.”

Béraud and the Lyon president said it was “imperative we move away quickly from this national logic”, and Lyon be allowed to play with the BetClic logo on their shirt tonight in Madrid. “The French law does not apply in Spain. The UEFA rules on this point have no legal basis,” they said.

The current ban on online gaming in France will remain in place until the country’s egaming law comes into effect. This is expected to be in time for this summer’s football World Cup, after French budget minister Eric Woerth announced late last month ahead of the bill passing the French Senate that the laws will take effect by 1 June,

Aulas and Béraud, who is also chief operating officer of BetClic’s parent company Mangas Gaming and interim chief executive of Mangas-owned Expekt, added that neither Spanish or European law supported tonight’s ban.

“The game is being played in Madrid, where advertising of online gaming is permitted. There is currently no European law that prohibits advertising online gaming. Not to mention that Real Madrid will play with its usual sponsor [Bwin] which is an operator of [French online brand] Paris Sportifs,” the statement continued.

BetClic also sponsors Marseille in France, Juventus in Italy, Lech Poznan in Poland and 13 Portuguese teams.

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