The FIFA World Cup 2010: Licensing

By Chris Druce

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: World cup, Fifa world cup

Outdoor areas must be included in your licence  if screening World Cup games
Outdoor areas must be included in your licence if screening World Cup games
Graeme Cushion at licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen gives his advice on enjoying a profitable and successful World Cup that remains within the law.

The World Cup is obviously an eagerly anticipated sporting event and one that should see an increase in levels of trade for most operators, especially those who have put a little bit of thought into their offer.

It is important to remember that with an increase in footfall and indeed levels of, shall we say ‘enthusiasm’, can come an increased risk of problems, such as underage drinking, disorder and so on.

The latest a match should finish is likely to be around 10.30pm, but that doesn’t allow for any delays or indeed penalty shoot-outs when it comes to the knock out stage of the competition. Make sure your terminal hour is sufficiently late and if it isn’t, then remedy it with a variation or an application for a Temporary Event Notice.

If you have a capacity condition on your licence then make sure you have the procedures in place to police it. Exceeding your capacity is viewed very seriously indeed and even if it is not a condition on your licence, you are required under fire safety legislation to have carried your own risk assessment of what the safe maximum occupancy should be.

Outside areas

Do you have an outside area? Is it covered by your licence? You will need it to be, or you’ll need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice if you want to set up a temporary bar out there.

Make sure your staff training is up to scratch. This is particularly in respect of identification challenges as those under the age of 18 will undoubtedly be as keen to watch the match as anyone else. Staff training should also be reinforced in the signs of drunkenness, as it is still an offence to sell alcohol to someone who is drunk.

Finally, it is a good idea to make sure that you actually have enough seating and screens to accommodate those within your premises. There is nothing more frustrating from a customer’s point of view, than deciding on a venue to watch the game and then finding that they cannot actually see it properly.

World Cup crackdown mooted

Poppleston Allen has warned pubs and restaurants to expect an increase in license reviews during the World Cup as the police and local councils step up activity.

Clare Eames, a partner at the licensing firm, said that police forces across the country were already calling for licence variations – including the use of polycarbonate glasses when matches are played and a ban on people using outside areas.

She said: “Throngs of people are going to want to watch England play down their local pubs and bars. But operators need to be aware that there are very pro-active police forces and local authorities up and down the country who will use this to their advantage.”

TV Licences

Don’t forget that if you are showing the football you’ll need a second licence in addition to the one you may have if you live in at your premises. Failure to buy another licence at £145.50 could result in a £1,000 fine. Hotels require a specific licence and more information can be found here​.


​Do be aware of FIFA’s heavy use of trade marking, warns Mark Kingsley-Williams, co founder of Trade Mark Direct. If you are doing promotions avoid the use of FIFA’s trade marked phrases, which include World Cup 2010, FIFA 2010 and South Africa 2010.

Instead, be creative. Reference the World Cup without using the banned terms, if you mention football, everyone will affiliate your advertising with the World Cup yet you won’t run offside. Advertise yourself with football parties, football themed foods and discounts around perfect match time foods and drinks.

Visit our special feature: FIFA World Cup 2010​ section for more ideas and advice.

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