Argentina’s government joins World Cup sticker dispute

Category : Sports

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. collectible / kəˈlɛk tə bəl / (adj.) – worth collecting; having great value to collectors

    This is a collectible card. Its price can go up to $2,000.

  2. convene / kənˈvin / (v.) – to come together and discuss something

    The board of directors convened a meeting to talk about the issue.

  3. collaborate / kəˈlæb əˌreɪt / (v.) – to work with one another to accomplish something

    The company is collaborating with different charities to help more people.

  4. scarcity / ˈskɛər sɪ ti / (n.) – the state of not having enough supply of something

    The country is experiencing a scarcity of rice, so the government decided to import some.

  5. attribute to / əˈtrɪb yut tu / (phrasal v.) – to say that something is because of someone or something

    In her graduation speech, she attributed her success to her mother.


Read the text below.

Argentina’s government has joined the squabble between shop owners and the local manufacturers of popular but scarce World Cup sticker albums.

Soccer fans in the South American nation have struggled to find the collectible stickers two months before the tournament kicks off in Qatar.

Argentina’s trade department convened a meeting with representatives of the New Rita company which owns the rights for sticker manufacturer Panini’s products in the country, and members of the nation’s union of shop owners.

“We have opened a dialogue and engaged our legal and technical staffers to collaborate so we can find solutions,” the department said on Twitter. It did not list any concrete measures.

Shop owners blame the company for the scarcity of the stickers and argue that it is hampering a tradition allowing supermarkets, gas stations and apps to also sell Panini’s products. They also complain that the official price of 150 pesos ($1) for each five-sticker pack is not being respected by local distributors.

The albums and stickers went on sale Aug. 24 but quickly disappeared from stores, which fans initially attributed to a marketing strategy of the company. New Rita denied that and promised to end the scarcity rapidly.

Spokespeople of the company did not make comments about the meeting.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you think it was appropriate for the government to join the squabble between the private shop owners and local manufacturers of popular but scarce World Cup sticker albums? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think using scarcity or releasing limited editions of some collectibles is a good marketing strategy? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Collecting stickers and albums has been a World Cup tradition. What are some sports traditions in your country (ex. catching a baseball during a match)? Discuss.
  • Do you think the scarcity of stickers and albums can really break this tradition? In your opinion, what can kill a tradition (ex. new traditions or practices; lack of supply or people to continue)? Discuss.
Category : Sports