BRUSSELS — Chalk up another giant victory for Britain’s regular folks.  The glorious months of World Cup or European Championship soccer, when dozens of games are followed with rabid enthusiasm across the continent, will stay on free TV, not cable.

In a major slapdown to powerful federations like FIFA and UEFA, who pocket big profits from lucrative TV broadcasting rights, a European Union high court in Luxembourg ruled Thursday that they have no right to sell most of their prime tournaments to pay-TV networks.

The court said World Cup and Euro games are cherished social and cultural events that belong to all the people, including the poor.

It was the second TV victory for ordinary citizens this month. A top EU court official also advised that bars and individuals have the right to use the cheapest satellite decoder available to watch matches in England’s Premier League, even if that sidesteps exclusive national broadcasting agreements.”

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