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World Cup remains free to air event as FIFA case dismissed

FIFA and UEFA have failed in their attempts to remove the World Cup and European Championships from free-to-air television following a decision from the European General Court (EGC).

If the bodies had been successful, England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland games would be still be broadcast on a free channel but FIFA and UEFA could sell the broadcast rights to the other 64 World Cup matches and 31 European Championship to the highest bidder.

The EGC said: "The court holds that the [European] Commission did not err in finding that the United Kingdom's categorisation of all World Cup and Euro matches... as 'events of major importance' for their societies are compatible with European Union law.

"Consequently, FIFA's and UEFA's actions are dismissed."

The bodies have two months to launch an appeal to the European Court of Justice.  Other UK TV events which are protected include the Olympic Games, FA Cup final, the Grand National, Wimbledon tennis finals, Rugby League Challenge Cup final, Rugby World Cup final.


Scott Hobro

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