Czech corruption scandal forces Grambinus to pull league title sponsorship

June 14 – Long time Czech league sponsor Grambinus is to pull out of its deals with the Czech football Association (FAČR), including its title sponsorship of the country’s top league, saying that the corruption scandals that have hit the presidency of the federation are now impacting on their brand image.

The brewer has been a sponsor of Czech football for more than 19 years but will cease its main sponsorship when the current contract ends at the start of the 2018/19 season.

“The cases surrounding top football and the long-term reluctance of the FAČR leadership to make important steps to improve its name are damaging us,” said Marek Dvorak, marketing manager for Gambrinus. “We are sure that the fans will support us, we will continue to sponsor grassroots football, where we feel real joy and fairness.”

The latest scandal to hit the Czech FA surrounds former chairman Miroslav Pelta, who was arrested in May along with two officials from the Education and Sports Ministry and charged with abuse of power, breaching fiduciary duties and favouritism in public tenders.

Czech media reported Pelta was accused of providing undue benefits when handling state subsidies for 2017 worth 454 million crowns (£15.1 million). Pelta has denied any wrongdoing.

Pelta eventually resigned from the FACR where he has been chairman since 2011.

But it was not soon enough for Gambrinus who cited the slowness of the FACR to deal with the scandal as the reason that forced their decision to pull out.

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