concert venue in Marseille

After a lot of terrible publicity in 2016, it seems that FIFA is trying to end 2016 on a high note. While it’s not the type of great news people would hope from FIFA, it’s a step in the right direction.

FIFA has decided that no rock concerts will be held at World Cup stadiums in Russia in the weeks leading up to the 2018 tournament, according to the Associated Press.

The reason why? FIFA wants…

“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 the stadium’s first match).” 

The announcement was made my FIFA Monday and it stated that there must be explicit prior approval if a concert is to be held at one of the venues.

The decision to ban concerts for two months before the concert comes after stadiums and training sites were overused and damaged before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A similar issue happened with venues for the European Championship in France this past June.

One month before the European Championship in France, AC/DC had a concert at the stadium in Marseille. France Coach Didier Deschamps said this caused major issues.

“It’s a disaster, but that’s not surprising,” Deschamps said of the field where France later beat Germany in the semifinals. “If you have an AC/DC concert a month before the European Championships — they’re changing the pitch, re-laying the turf.”

On top of concerts, FIFA has stated it has the right to veto matches that are slated to be played at the 12 Russian stadiums, along with training camps and pre-match practice sites during the month immediately preceding the tournament.

Also included in the announcement by FIFA were updates to tiebreaker rules and “fair play” regulations.

The 2018 World Cup will be the first to feature “disciplinary records.” This system adds up red and yellow cards that will be used as a potential tiebreaker in the group stage when countries have the same amount of points.

One of the “fair play” tiebreaker rules that are new to FIFA is based off a UEFA rule where the “fair play” tiebreaker is the final group-stage tiebreaker. It looks at head-to-head records as the first way to decide tiebreakers instead of goal difference.

Another rule that’s being added is all teams are required to bring spare goalkeeper uniform kits with no name or number printed on them. That way if a goalkeeper is injured and a non-keeper has to take over, they don’t have to wear someone else’s name and number.

The final odd rule that was added by FIFA according to the AP? The FIFA President will no longer be required to present the World Cup trophy to the winning captain.

[Associated Press]

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.