FIFA bans Beats headphones from World Cup matches

After Brazilian star Neymar is seen donning a pair of colorful Beats headphones, soccer's governing body makes it clear that Sony is the games' official sponsor.

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Brazilian soccer star Neymar sporting Beats headphones in a Beats YouTube ad. Screengrab by Dara Kerr/CNET

Beats headphones are causing something of a kerfuffle at the World Cup in Brazil. After several top soccer stars, including Brazilian sensation Neymar, have been spotted wearing the chunky, brightly colored headphones, FIFA, the game's governing body, has banned the headgear from inside the stadiums, according to Reuters.

Why? Because Beats is not an official sponsor of the games -- Sony is.

While it may seem that FIFA is being a bit harsh on the headphones that soccer players prefer to don, it appears this isn't the first time that Beats has caused a stir at a world sporting event.

During the London Olympics last summer, Beats sent thousands of free headphones to the world's top athletes, according to Reuters. The International Olympic Committee, with its rules to protect official sponsors, had to ban the earphones since Beats wasn't a sponsor. Also, Olympic athletes are forbidden from wearing gear from their personal sponsors -- the same goes for World Cup players.

It's unclear if Beats gave Neymar his headphones for free or if the soccer star bought them. It seems most likely the headphone company gave them to Neymar, considering the fact he starred in a Beats YouTube ad earlier this month titled "The Game Before the Game." CNET contacted Beats for comment, and we'll update the story when we get more information.

Beats was acquired by Apple for $3 billion last month. During the acquisition Apple said that Beats has "become the brand of choice in the music and sports worlds" and "has quickly become part of pop culture."

 

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