It was just one more World Cup conundrum: How are the 12 German World Cup host cities going to deal with noisy fans violating the law and irritated residents filing endless complaints?
Laugh a little louder and it will be okay -- at least for one month this summer
In a land that doesn't allow the hum of vacuums in certain afternoon hours, the clang of wine bottles tossed in recycle bins on Sundays and in which police take noise complaints as seriously as assault, what is the enthusiastic World Cup reveler to do?
After all, some games kick off at 9 p.m. and most cities require quiet by 10 p.m. Would that mean silent stadiums? Hardly. Instead, local officials fretted that it would more likely mean jammed police phone lines.
Some local ears won't be happy during the World Cup
As a result, the government has granted special noise permission for the games that will run from June 9 to July 9. About half of the 64 matches have late kick off times. So now fans are free to cheer, boo and hoot to their heart's content.
"The new provision strikes a fair balance between the high public interest in the World Cup on the one hand and the neighboring residents' legitimate need for peace and quiet on the other," Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel told AFP. "The special permission can be granted for sporting events of 'national or international interest.'"The provision also prevents residents from filing complaints against noise. So expect a run on earplugs. And let the revelries begin.