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Soccer City to remain FNB stadium

11 August 2010 - 13:36 By Sapa

Soccer City will continue to be called the FNB Stadium, the High Court in Johannesburg ruled on Wednesday.

The court upheld the bank's naming rights, First National Bank spokesman Derek Carstens said in a statement.

"The bank is pleased with this outcome and will continue with its promotional and other programmes bearing the name FNB Stadium."

The financial institution had taken National Stadiums, which manages Soccer City, to court to prevent it from changing the name of the stadium, outside Soweto in Johannesburg.

Wednesday's judgment meant promotional materials and tickets would now refer to the stadium as "FNB Stadium" and not Soccer City.

FNB's lawyer PF Louw argued in court last week that FNB had the right to the name of the stadium until 2014.

The stadium was completed in 1988 and owned by FNB. As part of preparations for the 2010 World Cup, the institution gave up its ownership of the stadium and transferred it to the City of Johannesburg.

Carstens said the bank, in compliance with Fifa requirements, agreed that the name and/or logo of the stadium be changed for a period starting three months before the soccer world cup opening match, and ending a week after the last match.