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SPORTAL AND RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP IN ACCESS CLASH

Sportal was barred from last night?s RLWC match between Wales and Lebanon by the RLWC organisers despite being an official sponsor of the Welsh team ? and also of Scotland and Ireland.

Sportal claims that as part of its sponsorship agreement, signed with RLWC Sportal.co.uk receives press accreditation. The withdrawal of press accreditation for Sportal.co.uk, says the company, is a breach of RLWC?s sponsorship agreement with Sportal.

?It seems to us that the RWLC wants to run an official site and shut down everyone else?s. By trying this they are taking the `King Canute? approach to new media,? says Stephen Nuttall, Sportal?s head of sport. ?I would invite anyone to compare our site with the official site. I think that the difference is clear.?

Sportal added in a press statement: ?Lawyers acting for the RLWC say that they are `Protecting Fans?, who may be confused when viewing Sportal.co.uk?s `live commentary?, thinking that they were about to get live audio commentary. Sportal.co.uk holds no audio rights to the tournament but offers a real-time, text-based commentary service.?

An RLWC spokesperson told SportBusiness.com that ? We are currently in talks with our lawyers and reaching agreement on a statement that we will be put out shortly.?