Argentina’s government has joined a fight between shop owners and local manufacturers of popular but rare World Cup sticker albums.
Two months before the start of the tournament in Qatar, fans of the game in the South American country struggled to find collectable stickers.
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Argentina’s trade department convened a meeting on Tuesday with representatives of the Nue Rita company, which owns the rights to the products of sticker maker Panini in the country, and members of the country’s shop owners association.
“We have opened a dialogue and engaged our legal and technical staff to collaborate so we can find solutions,” the department said on Twitter. It does not list any concrete measures.
Store owners blame the company for the lack of stickers and argue that it interferes with the tradition of allowing supermarkets, gas stations and utilities to sell Panini’s products. They also complain that the official 150 pesos ($1) for each five-sticker pack is not honored by local distributors.
The albums and stickers went on sale on August 24, but quickly disappeared from stores, which fans initially blamed on the company’s marketing strategy. The new Rita denied that and promised to end the deficit quickly.
Company spokesmen did not comment on Tuesday’s meeting.
Argentina open Group C play at the World Cup against Saudi Arabia on November 22 before facing Mexico and Poland in Qatar in a bid to advance to the knockout rounds.