Zurich has bowed to public pressure and agreed to let World Cup matches be shown with sound on television screens in the city streets.
The city on Wednesday amended a ban on showing televised matches outside with the volume turned up, in place since 2007 to curb noise.
Cafes and bars will now be able to show matches in viewing areas set up outside their doors from June 11-July 11. But the rules set out that screens must be no larger than three metres wide and the sound turned off within 15 minutes of matches ending.
Cafe owners complained to the authorities after learning that the municipal police had upheld the regulation during the World Cup. The rules had been lifted during the Euro 2008 tournament, of which Switzerland was a co-host.
The decision to uphold the ban also caused quite an outcry among the public and media, with some people bemoaning that Zurich had become the laughing stock of Switzerland. Bern’s mayor even waded in: “A football game without sound is like a ski race without timing”, Alexander Tschäppät was quoted as saying.
The new ruling will also stand for future World Cup events and European Championships.
swissinfo.ch and agencies