Jean Francois Tanda: European court decision is for the Good of the Game

Football belongs to everyone. That's basically the outcome of the recent decision by the European Court of Justice that ruled against the two football governing bodies, FIFA and UEFA. Formalistically, the case was about Belgium and the UK. Both countries had decided to declare football World Cups and European championships as 'events of major importance' and as such have to be broadcast on free TV channels. FIFA and UEFA both tried to avoid this decision, saying such laws would endanger their income from TV rights. But they lost.

The decision of the European Court of Justice is a good decision for football fans. But it is much more than just a ruling about TV broadcasting rights for World Cups - the ruling confirms that football is more than a game. It is probably the first time that a court has confirmed the importance of football for humanity. The court clearly considers football as a kind of human cultural asset of such huge importance to society that member states of the European Union now are allowed to "affect FIFA's property rights", as is stated in the judgment.