Rebounding from a losing court battle with MasterCard over use of the World Cup '94 logo, Sprint Communications Corp. is issuing prepaid calling cards commemorating the teams playing in the worldwide soccer championships.

In a news releaseo on Monday, Sprint pointed out that its collectible cards do not bear the World Cup logo or trademark, and are not the official card of the World Cup.

Sprint acquired sponsorship rights as the official long-distance provider for World Cup USA, the sponsor of the month-long tournament, which begins June 17 and is being held for the first time in the United States.

MasterCard Won Ruling

Thanks to a recent federal court decision in New York, MasterCard International Inc. locked up its right to be called the official card of World Cup 1994, preventing Sprint from marketing telephone cards with the World Cup symbol.

Instead, Sprint will offer 24 different cards, each representing one of the teams in the final rounds in nine U.S. cities.

Each card features a team's colors and national flag, and is available in $10 and $25 denominations. Cardholders can apply the value to calls made from any telephone via the Sprint network.

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