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UEFA secures Irish High Court order to halt illegal streaming of matches

UEFA receives a boost in its fight against internet piracy after the Republic of Ireland’s High Court issued an order to block the illegal streaming of UEFA competition matches in the country.

AFP/Getty Images

UEFA’s commitment to combating audio-visual piracy and protecting its broadcast partners received another boost after European football’s governing body secured an order from the Irish High Court that requires a series of internet service providers in the country to block access to IP addresses of servers which are being used to illegally stream UEFA competition matches.

The ruling affects the main Irish internet service providers. The UEFA EURO, the UEFA Nations League, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League were among the competitions being illegally streamed that now are protected by this order.

“We are pleased with the decision taken by the Irish High Court,” said UEFA’s chief counsel, commercial and technology legal services, Seong Sin Han. “This new measure builds upon the similar blocking order we have had in place in the United Kingdom for several years now.

“Both orders are effective and welcome tools in UEFA’s ongoing fight against audiovisual piracy because they place the ability to stop illegal streams firmly in the hands of the rights holder. The protection of our intellectual property from internet piracy is a top priority for our organisation and UEFA is actively cooperating and developing relationships with major digital platforms to disrupt the piracy ecosystem and protect our broadcast partners.”

UEFA takes piracy extremely seriously and is implementing an extensive anti-piracy programme based on the latest technology available. UEFA is also teaming up with its broadcast partners, internet players and other relevant stakeholders to combat the problem more effectively.

Financial revenue generated from media rights is vital for the well-being of football, both professional and amateur, and in particular football development and grassroots investment throughout Europe. Since the UEFA EURO in 2004, UEFA has made €2.6 billion available to its member associations through its HatTrick programme, with the vast majority of funding coming from this revenue source.

In order to ensure that future generations have the best possible environment in which to play football, funding from the HatTrick scheme is used to support grassroots football across UEFA’s 55 member associations, with €44 million earmarked over the next four years.