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Germany approves late fan parks

The German government has made a special dispensation for fan parks to operate throughout the 2014 World Cup, despite the later kick-off time of many games.

German fans at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin for the Euro 2012 game between Germany and the Netherlands.
German fans at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin for the Euro 2012 game between Germany and the Netherlands.

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Fan miles-- or "Fanmeilen" ["fan miles"], as they are known locally -- have become a popular tradition throughout Germany since the 2006 World Cup, which they hosted.

They see large numbers of people gather outside, around a big screen, to watch football with spectators at the Brandenburg Gate fan park in Berlin said to have numbered hundreds of thousands.

Their inclusion in the festivities for the 2014 World Cup had been in doubt though, because of the late kick off time of many games.

The Federal Control of Pollution Act limits the noise level to 40 decibels for any public gathering in residential areas after 10pm CET, the kick-off time for many of the games in Brazil.

But an exception has been made and will be in place from the opening fixture between Brazil and Croatia on June 12 through to the World Cup final July 13.

“The collective experience of watching football under the open sky is just part of the World Cup,” Barbara Hendricks, the Federal Minister of the Environment, was quoted by FAZ as saying earlier this week. “For such an occasion a noise control exception is justified.”

The regulation passed on Wednesday now works around the Pollution Act by designating the “fan miles” as sports facilities, putting them on the same public viewing level as the visit of a football stadium.

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