According to recent news reports published in India Today, FIFA has banned non-football events being hosted in World Cup stadiums two months before the soccer World Cup starts in Russia in 2018. According to FIFA the football pitch has to be of highest quality and shall not be put to use for any non-football event.
According to the updated, 2018 World Cup regulations which were published on Monday “explicit prior approval” of FIFA is required by any World Cup hosting stadium for any exemptions pertaining to hosting of other events in their stadiums before the soccer World Cup. Recently, the world governing the body of football has also introduced disciplinary records. The disciplinary records is a points based system number of red and yellow cards accumulated by a team. This disciplinary records system is introduced as a potential tie breaker in the group stage. This will be used in when teams have the same amount of points in the group stage. FIFA justified its stand of not allowing World Cup stadiums to be used for other events two months prior to the event.
According to FIFA, it had found that the Word Cups stadiums and training sites for 2014 World Cup were overused hence they have decided not to allow this to happen in the upcoming World Cup. FIFA has also cited issues pertaining to the European Championships in France in June.
An AC/DC rock concert prior to one month of the commencement of the tournament in Marseille caused problems. This was cited by France coach Didier Deschamps. The French regarded the Stade Velodrome turf as a “disaster” after they defeated Albania by 2-0. The turf after the rock concert of AC/DC was relayed on a tight schedule to be ready for Euro 2016 and because of the heavy rains it struggled to take root. Deschamps remarked, “It’s a disaster, but that’s not surprising.”
FIFA also reserves the right to reject matches in 12 Russian stadiums, training camps and pre-match practice field sites one month before they are used to host the World Cup soccer matches. From now on FIFA will have “fair play” as final group stage tie breaker (before teams proceed to the drawing slots) similar to that of UEFA. However, unlike UEFA, FIFA has kept the difference in goals as the first measure to separate teams that are equal on points. In the case of UEFA, it uses head-to –head record at the final tie-breaker stage in Champions League groups and European Championship.