AUS: Lion Nathan may sponsor Oz soccer festival

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Australian-based brewer Lion Nathan may sponsor a series of international soccer matches in Australia next year with Manchester United, AC Milan, Chelsea and the English, Italian, French and Argentine teams all on a shopping list of potential participants.Lion Nathan subsidiary International Entertainment Corporation was negotiating with all the teams, its managing director, Dominic Galati, said today.The matches were planned for mid-year to assist Australia, assuming it wins its Oceania Group, prepare for final qualifying matches for the next World Cup.Galati said that he expected plans to be finalised within the next three months.Lion Nathan's director corporate affairs, Gabriel McDowell, said that the proposed sponsorship was part of a series of investments designed to help Lion Nathan become more of a leisure-based rather than a purely beer-producing company.It was still to early to say what form Lion Nathan's sponsorship of the proposed soccer matches would take. IEC already has a seven-year agreement with Soccer Australia to promote and market the game in Australia.Chris Snow

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