FIFA inks deal with sponsor linked to Blatter

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter. (Christophe Ena/AP)

ZURICH — FIFA has signed its first World Cup sponsor since 2013, agreeing to a four-tournament deal with a Chinese conglomerate that has links to Sepp Blatter.

FIFA says the deal with property and cinema giant Dalian Wanda Group runs through the 2030 World Cup. The value was not disclosed.

The firm’s Wanda Sports Holding subsidiary is led by Blatter’s nephew, Philippe Blatter. Sepp Blatter was forced out as FIFA president by a corruption crisis.

FIFA last signed a sponsor 2 1/2 years ago when Russian energy giant Gazprom agreed to a deal.

The Wanda money will help fund the spending promises that FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s made before his election last month.

On Thursday, FIFA committed to pay $517 million more to national, regional and continental soccer bodies through 2018.

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