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Petter Northug must quit sponsor for Norway

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Petter Northug must quit sponsor for Norway
Petter Northug. Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix
09:33 CEST+02:00
Norwegian cross-country ski star Petter Northug is under pressure by the sport's governing body to quit a sponsor if he wants to continue officially representing Norway, it was announced on Wednesday.

The twenty-eight-year-old champion must stop his sponsorship deal with the Coop supermarket brand from May next year or face expulsion from the Norway team, reported VG.

The demands are being made by the Norwegian Ski Federation on the cross-country ski star who shun any of their sports stars having commercial sponsorship deals while they represent Norway.
 
Stein Opsal, secretary general of the federation, said to VG: “[Northug] cannot promote Coop as partner. Nor can he sell different kinds of products. The Coop-deal has to be cancelled until further notice as long as Petter wants to go international.”
 
The newspaper reported the demands from the Norwegian Ski Federation are absolute and apply for 12 months. For the coming ski season, Northug will not be allowed to  promote his main sponsor between the November 1st this year and April 30th 2015.
 
The Norwegian Ski Federation will also request Northug accepts a place on the national team and that he represents the sponsors of the Ski Federation throughout the year.
 
Opsal said: “If we are to finance top level sports, we need to have sponsors feeling that they are getting something in return. If the best [sports stars] aren't available to our sponsors, a lot of this will fall apart over time. The basis for financing is that all the best join the group.”
 
Northug opposes the Norwegian Ski Federation on the contract for the season 2014 - 2015. He must give an answer to the Federation with his final decision by November 1st as to whether he will participate in the World Cup and the World Championship in Falun this coming winter.
 
In spring 2013, Northug broke out from the national team and started a private team with Coop as main sponsor. Since then, he has had some troubles both in sports and in his private life, including a drink drive charge where he faces a life ban from driving.
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