Putin Signs Law Giving FIFA Power To Stop Commerce In Areas Of 2018 World Cup Cities
Russian President Vladimir Putin "signed into law Friday measures giving FIFA powers to stop commerce in large areas of the 2018 World Cup host cities," according to R-SPORT. The "so-called World Cup Law mandates that FIFA or its nominees must give written approval for any trading or advertising within two kilometers of a stadium on match day." That area covers, for example, "several Moscow districts home to tens of thousands of people and most of central Volgograd." The text of the law published on a government website states: "On the days on which sports competitions are held, trading activity on the territory of the stadium and in other places where events are taking place, and also within a radius of two kilometers around stadiums, may take place only with the official written consent of FIFA or persons nominated by FIFA." A similar clause "requires FIFA approval for advertising within the same radius of a stadium, or in the airspace above an arena." The law also exempts FIFA from Russian tax "and allows alcohol sales at matches under an exemption from Russia's blanket ban on alcohol at sports events" (R-SPORT, 6/7).