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No big screens in central Brussels during World Cup
World Cup matches will not be broadcast on a big screen in public spaces in the centre of Brussels like they were four years ago, the City has announced. Although the screenings were extremely popular, the mayor’s office cites security as the reason behind the decision.
In 2014, big screens set up in squares like Grand’Place and Place Saint-Géry drew tens of thousands of football fans to Red Devils matches. This year there will not only be no city-sponsored screenings, bar and restaurant owners in Brussels-City will not be able to get a permit to erect a screen on their own terraces.
“Matches take place every day during World Cup, and we have received many requests from people who want to set up a big screen outside,” a spokesperson for Brussels-City mayor Philippe Close told VRT. “The police cannot guarantee safety at all of those locations. So we have decided not to approve any requests for a big screen in a public space.”
Other Brussels municipalities, however, will stage public screenings. Like four years ago, Jette will invite fans to watch the match in Place Reine Astrid, and Molenbeek will erect a screen in the Edmond Machtens Stadium. The latter will even be home to a “fan village”.
World Cup takes place in Russia this year and kicks off on 14 June. Belgium’s Red Devils are in Group G and play their first match on 18 June against Panama at 18.00 local time.
Photo: Fans outside of King Baudouin Stadium watch Belgium play Argentina in July 2014