Football: Mexico businesses could lose $800m if country misses out on 2014 World Cup

MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) - Mexico companies could suffer as much as US$650 million (S$800 million) in losses if the country fail to beat New Zealand in their World Cup play-off for the 2014 finals in Brazil, said sports marketing expert Rogelio Roa.

The two countries play at the Azteca on Nov 13 and in Wellington a week later.

The possibility of not qualifying deeply worries Mexico's football association (FMF) and media, mainly television networks in Mexico and the United States which have broadcasting rights as well as companies which sponsor the national team and those which see a rise in sales throughout the year when the World Cup is held.

Roa, director-general of DreaMatch Solutions which specialises in sports marketing, said Mexico's absence would have a financial impact on the entire national soccer industry.

He estimated that the impact could total US$650 million because business surrounding the World Cup have grown exponentially over the years.

Mexico have been at every World Cup finals since 1986, apart from 1990 when they were banned for fielding over-age players in the World Youth Cup.