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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mastercard Deal to Be Revisited

NEW YORK -- A U.S. appeals court on Friday ordered a lower court to revisit a ruling that gave MasterCard a coveted sponsorship deal for the World Cup football tournaments.

The decision means that sponsorship for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups remains uncertain.

In December, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ruled that credit card provider MasterCard -- not larger rival Visa International -- should get an eight-year contract with football's governing body, FIFA.

MasterCard already had sponsored the tournament, the world's most-viewed sporting event, for 16 years.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said Preska needed to clarify whether a 2006 agreement between MasterCard and FIFA was binding and whether it would supersede a 2002 contract. Under the contract, MasterCard contended it had the right of first refusal on a new pact.

At the same time, the appellate court also added: "The district court is free to reconsider other aspects of its original decision and relief ordered if the answer to the question for which we have remanded the case causes the court to rethink one or more of its rulings."

MasterCard, in a statement, said it "looks forward to Judge Preska addressing this particular issue and final resolution of the ongoing matter."

Visa said it had no immediate comment. The appeals court last year rejected Visa's bid to become a party to the lawsuit.