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Business Spotlight

Why Asia Inc. is rushing to sponsor the Qatar World Cup

Concerns over human rights take back seat to reaching global audience

JOHN DUERDEN, Contributing writer | China

SEOUL -- Asia has never had a bigger presence at a World Cup than it will this year, either on or -- by a more significant margin -- off the field.

A record six Asian teams will compete in the quadrennial soccer tournament, which kicks off in Qatar on Sunday, out of a total of 32. Asia-based companies, meanwhile, make up nine of FIFA's 14 partners and World Cup sponsors.

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