William Hill To Lose Football Club Sponsorship?

New owner of Malaga FC says religion motivates decision to drop gambling group

Religion played a role in the decision by a new club owner to replace bookmaker William Hill plc as shirt sponsor for the Malaga football club.

Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani bought the Spanish First Division club in June for Euro 10.5 million and the club's Euro 36 million of debt.

Club spokesman Victor Varela revealed this week that the sheikh plans to replace the UK bookmaker as shirt sponsor because of his Islamic religious beliefs.

The William Hill sponsorship contract with Malaga was to run through 2012, according to company spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Questioned about the statement from Varela, Sharpe said: 'I'm not aware he's told us that. If they come to us with a query about the deal then we'll be happy to discuss it.'

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