By Andrew Warshaw

FIFA WORLD CUP TROPHY 28-11-12November 28 - FIFA has modified its World Cup sponsorship rules by changing the "national supporter" category to "continental supporter" – starting with the 2018 event in Russia.

The revenue-boosting change means that the third-tier FIFA sponsorship will be open to companies on the same continent rather than firms exclusively from the host country.

Brazil 2014 has five national supporters – trade and investment agency Apex-Brasil, São Paulo -based bank Itaú Unibanco, insurance company Liberty Seguros, chocolate manufacturer Chocolates Garoto and English-language school Wise Up.

"We have changed from national to continental," said Jérôme Valcke, FIFA secretary general.

"Russia is in Europe so any company in Europe [can be a third-tier sponsor] whereas in the past it would have just been Russian companies it will make it easier to sell sponsorships at the third level."

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