According to Law 1, Decision 3 of the Laws of the Game approved by the International Football Association Board, and valid as per 1 July 1999, all forms of advertising, real or virtual, is forbidden on the field of play and its appurtenances, including the goal nets, and also on the area immediately surrounding the field of play. This restriction applies from the moment that the teams enter the field of play before each half of the match, and until the moment that they leave it after each half. These Regulations entered into force on 1 January 2000.
- “Virtual Advertising” refers to the manipulation by computer of authentic images, either live or delayed, and the substitution of various elements of those images with the purpose of implementing advertising messages into the signal transmitted by television or by similar current or future technologies (on-line, desktop-publishing, single-frame, DVD, etc.).
- “Transmitted images” refers to electronic recordings (analogue or digital) of single-frame images (still pictures) or of sequences (moving pictures or video signals) by the corresponding recording means.
- “Football matches” refers to all matches between football teams organised by FIFA, or by the Confederations and National Associations affiliated to FIFA, or by the clubs affiliated to the National Associations.
Application : These Regulations are applicable to the transmitted images produced of football matches by television or by any and all other current or future forms of transmission for public consumption, as well as to all other current or future forms of publicising images of football matches, including especially newspapers, other publications, and the Internet.
Rights Holders : FIFA, the recognised Confederations, the affiliated National Associations and clubs affiliated to the National Associations which organise football matches are the original holders of the rights associated with such football matches.
Obligation to Transfer the Contents of these Regulations : The granting of rights to football matches by the original rights-holders or by third parties acquiring such rights may only be permitted when those parties acquiring such rights enter a legally binding agreement to uphold the contents of these Regulations.
VA is permitted only when the following conditions are all fulfilled :
· To do so does not constitute an illegal act
· All involved parties, especially the Host Broadcaster, sub-licensees and marketing rights-holders are fully informed and contractually bound with regard to the application of VA and the contents of these Regulations.
· Outside the field of play, VA may only be applied during the transmission to appear on existing flat surfaces which may or may not be used in reality for publicity purposes (including advertising boards standing beside the field of play). In particular, VA is expressly forbidden
a) on surfaces specially created for the purposes of being used for VA
b) on all persons in the stadium
c) on all mobile or stationary objects not originally intended to carry
publicity of any kind
d) in the air space above the entire stadium area
e) in the air space which may be seen by the public and covered by TV
· VA may be applied to appear on the field of play in the centre-circle and in the two penalty-areas (including the arc of each area) until the moment when the players enter the field of play before the start of each half of the match, from the moment when they leave the field of play at the end of the first half, and from the moment they leave the field of play after the match has officially finished (normal time, golden goal, penalty shoot-out).
Failure to observe these Regulations : The Confederations, the National Associations and the clubs affiliated to the National Associations shall be held responsible for failure to observe these Regulations, whether such failure shall be caused by these parties or by third parties to whom the rights to the match in question has been directly or indirectly granted.
- Disciplinary measures shall be taken against any party responsible for failure to observe these Regulations.
The responsible bodies in such cases shall be :
a) FIFA, for such offences committed by a recognised Confederation
b) the respective Confederation, for such offences committed by a national association affiliated to that Confederation and to FIFA
c) the respective National Association, for offences committed by a club affilia ted to that National Association.
Disciplinary measures shall be taken when the responsible disciplinary body is informed by any party of any infringement of these Regulations.
The disciplinary body shall follow an expedient and simple procedure to impose disciplinary measures, in order to permit a decision to be reached within five working days.
- The disciplinary regulations of the disciplinary body in question shall be applied.Appeal against decisions involving disciplinary measures may be made in writing within five days of
notification of such decision, to the body responsible for such disciplinary measures.