Hell's Bells - AC/DC change Fifa policy on concerts prior to games

Lead guitarist Angus Young and AC/DC were blamed for wrecking the Stade Velodrome turf in Marseilles before the Euro ...
REUTERS

Lead guitarist Angus Young and AC/DC were blamed for wrecking the Stade Velodrome turf in Marseilles before the Euro 2016 tournament.

Fifa has blocked rock concerts from being staged in World Cup stadiums in the weeks before the 2018 tournament kicks off in Russia.

World football's governing body passed a rule "to ensure that the field of play is of the highest quality, it shall not be used for a non-football event" for two months before a stadium's first match.

In updated 2018 World Cup regulations published on Tuesday (NZ time), Fifa requires "explicit prior approval" for exemptions.

Fifa said the stricter turf rule was because of overuse of stadiums and training sites in Brazil ahead of the 2014 World Cup, but it also follows issues at the European Championship in France in June.

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A concert by Australian rock band AC/DC one month before the tournament in Marseilles was cited by France coach Didier Deschamps as a problem.

Deschamps called the Stade Velodrome turf a "disaster" after beating Albania 2-0.

The turf had been re-laid after the concert on a tight schedule for Euro 2016 and struggled to take root in heavy rain.

"It's a disaster, but that's not surprising," Deschamps said of a field where France would later beat Germany in the semi-finals.

"If you have an AC/DC concert a month before the European Championships – they're changing the pitch, re-laying the turf."

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Fifa can also veto matches in the 12 Russian stadiums, plus training camp and pre-match practice field sites, for one month before they are needed during the tournament.

Fifa has also introduced disciplinary records - a points system adding up red and yellow cards - as a potential tiebreaker in the group stage when teams have the same amount of points in the group stage.

 - AP

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