The 2018 FIFA World Cup – Is your sports club ready?

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The World Cup is just around the corner, and with ticket sales from England fans noticeably low, more people than ever will be watching the tournament in the UK. If like many sports clubs you are thinking of hosting some screening events, make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps to keep everyone safe.

The World Cup starts on the 14th June in Russia this year and there has been a noticeably short amount of sales from UK football fans. During the first phase of ticket sales, only 24,125 England fans made requests for tickets, compared to 96,780 requests during the same round in the previous World Cup in Brazil.[1]

Tickets that are available are being advertised on resell sites ‘for almost 40 times their face value’[2] so it will not be surprising if more British supporters stay at home this year. Because of this, it is likely that there will be more screenings of matches from sports club houses, pubs and public venues.

The games are being shown on free-to-air TV channels so there is no need to buy a sports package subscription, however if you show the games at your club, consider the insurance risks and licencing implications of holding a World Cup event and showing games on a big screen.

Accidental injury

The safety of your guests is important, particularly if there are a number of people gathered in the same space. It might seem obvious, but slips and trips are accountable for high levels of injury at public events, so ensure that all flooring is hazard free. Make sure all walkways are kept free of obstructions and wires, and keep in mind that floors may become slippery if drinks are spilt.

If your screening is being held in a sports club then check the conditions of your insurance policy and make sure you’re covered in respect of accidental injury to both your members and guests. Also, if a club member or member of the public is injured then report this to your usual insurance contact immediately.  

Food hygiene and serving alcohol

If you are providing or selling food at your venue you should ensure that all food preparation and serving areas are clean and organised. Make sure your organisation has the appropriate public liability insurance in place to cover your event should someone fall ill from food poisoning. If an external business is selling food or alcohol, make sure they have the appropriate insurance in place.

When serving alcohol, most venues will have a club premises certificate or a licence. However, if you do not usually sell alcohol, then you will need to apply for a temporary event notice (TEN) and speak to your insurance provider. More details on how to apply for a TEN can be found via the website.

Any ‘hazardous’ activities

Some activities that might be considered hazardous include, but are not limited to, fireworks display, barbecues and bonfires. Businesses should check their liability insurance to make sure they are fully covered. Likewise, whilst a sports liability policy held by sports clubs might cover for social events, it won’t necessarily cover these activities. Make sure you contact your usual insurance contact to confirm this before you host your event.

If you are thinking of hiring any equipment through an external company make sure to read their terms carefully, including any exclusions within their insurance terms.

If you are showing the football for the first time or organising additional activities outside of your usual duties, be mindful that you might attract more attendees than expected and your regulars might stay longer. If necessary, review your operations for the day and carry out a risk assessment to account for any changes that might occur.[3]

With 64 fixtures in the upcoming World Cup, there is plenty of opportunity for venues around the country to host screening events. If this falls outside of your business’ usual activities, make sure you have the most effective insurance plan in place so you can focus on enjoying the event itself.

If you have any questions about insurance for your sports club then please contact Andy Goulbourne.


[1] iNews

[2] The Independent

[3] Poppleston Allen


About the author

Andy Goulbourne
Associate Director
Sports and Recreation +44 (0)121 698 8057 Email