World Cup games to remain free to view in the UK

A court ruling has determined that World Cup and European Championships are to remain free-to-watch.

A challenge to the rule which ensures "protected" events remain free to watch has been dismissed.

Other live sporting events which have protected status include the Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup Final.

Fifa and Uefa had challenged the decision which guarantees free viewing to football fans.

The bodies had argued that allowing free-to-watch disrupted sales of television rights.

Whilst games involving UK teams and all semi final and final matches would remain free, the bodies argued that other matches should be pay-to-watch in the UK.

The European General Court, where the case was heard, determined that the UK categorisation was compatible with European law.

The football bodies have two months in which to launch an appeal.

In a statement, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said they were pleased with the result.