Broadcasters raise concerns over 2018 World Cup, Wimbledon clash

A number of major broadcasters from around the world have complained to Fifa, football’s global governing body, over plans to stage the final of its 2018 World Cup national team competition at the same time as the men’s singles final at next year’s Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament.

The showpiece tennis match in London, England is due to start at 2pm GMT and the World Cup final in Moscow, Russia, is scheduled to begin at 4pm GMT.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, broadcasters have raised concerns that the Wimbledon final will be reaching its climax just as the World Cup final kicks off and, as a result, will disrupt their coverage plans for both events.

UK public-service broadcaster the BBC and Japanese public-service broadcaster NHK, which both hold rights for Wimbledon and the World Cup in their respective markets, are understood to have asked Fifa to consider changing the kick-off time of the World Cup final to avoid a clash.

However, the Daily Mail said that Fifa remains adamant that a 4pm GMT kick-off is the most suitable for a worldwide audience and will not be altered.

Other key matches in the World Cup will have later kick-off times, including both semi-final games, which will begin at 7pm GMT.