Bid to resolve World Cup row

By Dominic Ponsford

A joint working party has been set up between world football bosses and press representatives in a bid to reach agreement over controversial World Cup picture restrictions.

The main gripe from leading news organisations is that pictures from World Cup matches cannot be published on websites and mobile phones until an hour after matches have finished.

This has been negotiated down from two hours, but the World Association of Newspapers says this is still not enough.

The WAN leadership met Fifa bosses, including president Joseph Blatter, in Zurich on Monday. WAN is now hopeful that a joint working party of the two organisations can thrashed out a deal before the World Cup kicks off in Munich on 9 June.

In addition to the one-hour embargo, news organisations are also unhappy over restrictions on the number of photos published after matches and over the use of headlines, captions and graphics.

Fifa claims it has to protect commercial contracts with those who have paid millions to show matches live.

WAN director general Tim Balding said: “We believe these conditions are an infringement on the free access to information.”

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