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German Court Rules Against Bayern Munich & Free-bwin.com

10th September 2009 8:02 am GMT

Germany's most successful football club, FC Bayern Munich, has vowed to continue its legal challenge against the government of Upper Bavaria after the Munich Administrative Court ruled this week that the club may not carry advertising for the poker school free-bwin.com

The government of Upper Bavaria originally issued a cease and desist order against Bayern Munich in May, prohibiting the club from engaging in any advertising activity for sports betting provider bwin. The club was given six days in which to comply with the order.

The short compliance window given to Bayern Munich resulted in the intervention of Secretary of State for the Interior, Joachim Herrmann, who urged the government to seek a negotiated resolution with the club instead, a move for which Mr. Hermann has drawn a great deal of criticism from opposition parties and his own coalition.

As a result of the intervention, a meeting was held between Mr. Hermann and representatives of the Interior Ministry, the government of Upper Bavaria and FC Bayern Munich. Despite the talks however, the parties failed to reach agreement as Bayern's publicity material was found to be in breach of the State Treaty on Gaming, despite only promoting a non-gambling free poker school.

As a result, a new cease and desist order was placed on the club for the start of the current season, which FC Bayern Munich unsuccessfully appealed at the Administrative Court of Munich on Monday.

In a statement issued Wednesday, FC Bayern Munich said: "We respect the administrative court's negative decision that was communicated to us in this matter today. However, our position on our legal opinion with respect to the co-operation with our partner has not changed.

"We will continue to take legal action together against this decision in future."

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