Germany relaxes noise rules for World Cup
Football-mad Germany has blown the whistle on its strict noise pollution rules -- but just for the duration of the World Cup.
To enable fans to publicly view matches in the open air during the championship in Brazil, the German cabinet agreed Wednesday to temporarily ease restrictions on noise.
Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, whose ministry presented the special order, said "the collective watching of football in the open air is simply part of a football World Cup".
The time difference between Germany and Brazil, where the contest kicks off June 12 for a month, means many matches will only begin at around midnight German time.
Hendricks stressed the provision foresaw a minimal level of protection against noise for residents.
The final say on night-time football public viewings will lie with local authorities who can weigh up individual cases in terms of the public interest versus disturbance risk.
The easing of the rules must still be approved by the Bundesrat upper house of parliament, which represents the regional states.
Germany took a similar step for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, as well as for Euro 2008.
© 2014 AFP