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World Cup 2022: How to watch the World Cup finals, wherever you are

It’s that time again – the nations of the world will meet at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to decide football’s world champions. If you’re anything like us, you’re already planning your viewing schedule.

World Cup 2022: How to watch the World Cup finals, wherever you are
Clash in Qatar: Five billion people are estimated to watch the World Cup final. Photo: Getty Images

From Sunday, 20 November until Sunday, 18 December, 32 qualifying teams will meet in Qatar and play games across five cities. The final will take place at Lusail Stadium on 18 December, in front of an estimated worldwide audience of five billion – two billion more than the 2018 final!

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of the World Cup to get people to come together. Gathering around the TV with friends, drinks and snacks in hand, wearing your country’s colours with pride. Each game is 90-plus minutes of drama, tension and hopefully elation as goals are sunk into the back of the net.

It gets even better if you can access match broadcasts from your home country. Your favourite commentators can provide the colour and detail that broadcasters in other countries simply can’t match. Many of these broadcasts such as BBC iPlayer and ITV (UK) are even free!

Thankfully, in 2022 we have a simple solution to access your preferred World Cup broadcaster – the VPN. 

SPONSORED: How to watch the World Cup finals, wherever you are

What is a VPN? 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a piece of software that is able to change your IP address – essentially, your location on the internet. 

This is important, because due to legal agreements, many broadcasters restrict access to those within a certain geographical region.  

In changing your IP address to one within a specified region, you can bypass these ‘region locks’, as they’re known, and stream video or other media as if you were there. 

Sounds illegal – is it? 

Not at all. There are no laws that forbid the use of a VPN to access streaming media in a different country. 

Indeed, VPNs are big business, with a projected worth of 77 billion USD by 2026. This is because in addition to changing your IP address, VPNs also encrypt your data, providing an additional layer of security, necessary for many environments. 

VPNs are definitely here to stay, and have become a very useful tool for both business and recreational viewing. 

How do I use a VPN?

To use a VPN, set up an account with a provider, like ExpressVPN, and download their app to your mobile device or desktop.

Then, with a click of a button, simply choose the region you want to access content from.

For example, if you want to watch English coverage of the World Cup, select a server located in the UK, click, and voila – you can access BBC iPlayer or ITV’s online broadcasts.

Now you can start streaming the games!

Watch the World Cup – Sign up with ExpressVPN now and get a 30-day money-back guarantee plus 3 extra months FREE

VPNs work across all of your devices to access content in different parts of the world. Photo: ExpressVPN

How much should I expect to pay for a VPN?

The vast majority of VPN providers offer very reasonable rates to use their services and certainly less than many streaming services. 

ExpressVPN, for example, has a sliding scale – €12.46 for one month, €9.61 per month for a six month plan, and €6.39 for a 12 month plan. The longer your plan, the more you save, and readers of The Local can get the exclusive offer of 3 extra months free on a 12 months subscription.

Many providers, including ExpressVPN, offer money-back guarantees, so if you aren’t completely satisfied with your service within a specified period – usually a month – you can get your money back. 

So where can I watch the games? 

Each country has different broadcasters who have the right to televise games. Many are broadcasting matches free-to-air via a streaming portal, but some do require a paid subscription. 

UKFREE to air through BBC iPlayer and ITV.
AustraliaFREE to air through SBS On Demand.
IrelandFREE to air through RTE.
USA – Subscription via FOX, Telemundo & Peacock.
Canada – Subscription through Bell Media.
GermanyFREE to air through ZDF and ARD, and subscription via MagentaTV.
FranceFREE to air through TFI, and subscription via BeIN Sports.
ItalyFREE to air through RAI.
NetherlandsFREE to air through NOS.
PortugalFREE to air through RTP.
SwedenFREE to air through SVT and 4.
BelgiumFREE to air through RTBF (for French-speakers) and VRT (For Dutch speakers).
DenmarkFREE to air through DR, and subscription via DRTV2.

Will I need any other specialist equipment to watch the games? 

Not at all! You can either connect your laptop to your TV via a HDMI cable, or cast media to your television from your mobile device. Then it’s time to get your friends together, sit back, and enjoy the world’s best teams battling it out in the beautiful game!

Sign up for ExpressVPN now to enjoy 3 extra months FREE in their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale. Enjoy every World Cup game and all your favourite shows from home!

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PROPERTY

Explained: France’s new property renovation grant

Ma Prime Logement Décent, which came into effect on January 1st, offers financial assistance to property owners for major home improvements.

Explained: France’s new property renovation grant

The French government has several financial assistance schemes that are open to property owners to help finance renovation projects, especially those aimed at making homes more energy efficient.

GUIDE: French property grants you might be eligible for

Now a new one has been launched, aimed at property that is in a dilapidated and run-down state. The idea is both the ease the housing shortage that is a problem in several French cities and ensure that people are living in decent conditions. 

Launched on January 1, 2024, Ma Prime Logement Décent (My Decent Housing Bonus) has enabled property owners to obtain financial assistance for renovation work on run-down housing. 

Homeowners on a modest income can apply for the Ma Prime Logement Décent financial aid, which is – in certain cases – up to 80 percent of the total spent, up to a maximum of €70,000.

The scheme is open to people who own their own home and people who own a property that they rent out, but is not available to second home owners. You do not need to be a French national to apply, but you must be resident in France, have a French tax number and complete the annual French income tax declaration.

The aid can only be used for work to remedy a proven health or safety risk at a property, such as:

  • unsanitary conditions;
  • a risk of lead exposure;
  • significant deterioration to a property’s fabric.

Work may include :

  • renovating an electrical or gas network;
  • replacing a roof;
  • reinforcing the foundations.

Who’s eligible?

Owner-occupiers on ‘modest’ or ‘very modest’ incomes whose main residence requires renovation can apply for the Ma Prime Logement Décent aid, if:

  • the property was built more than 15 years ago;
  • the work is carried out by qualified professionals (except very particular cases);
  • your home has been assessed by a qualified assessor.

After work has been completed, it must achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of E.

READ ALSO What do energy ratings mean for French property owners?

Owners renting out their property can apply for this aid in the following circumstances.

  • The unfurnished property must be rented to a low-income tenant, who cannot be a family member, or a member of the landlord’s household for tax purposes;
  • The property has a capped rent – ceilings are defined annually by commune or arrondissement;
  • It has at least a level D energy efficiency rating after the work has been carried out.

READ ALSO GUIDE: French property grants you might be eligible for

How much is the help worth?

When you use Ma Prime Logement Décent as an owner-occupier, you’ll be reimbursed for :

  • 80 percent of the cost of the work if you’re part of a ‘very low income’ household (rising to 90 percent if the work also means that your home is no longer a so-called heat sieve);
  • 60 percent of the cost of the work if you are part of a ‘low-income’ household ( rising to 70 percent if the work also prevents the home from becoming a so-called heat sieve).

In both cases, the total cost of the work must not exceed €70,000.

Owners renting out their property can benefit from 35 percent of the cost of your renovation work.

An online simulator can help property owners check whether the work qualifies for the Ma Prime Logement Décent scheme.

You use terms like ‘very low income’ and ‘low income’. What does that mean?

Your revenus fiscaux de référence (RFR) are important. You’ll see the figure on your annual tax assessment – it’s basically an amount calculated by the tax administration from the total income of a tax household intended to reflect the financial resources of that household.

It helps decide what social assistance you may be entitled to.

READ ALSO MaPrimeRenov: How France’s property renovation grants will change in 2024

In the greater Paris Île-de-France region, a single person living on their own is considered to be ‘very low income’ if their RFR is €23,541 or less (€17,009 for the rest of the country), and low income if it’s €28,657 or less (€21,805 outside Île-de-France).

The scale rises to €55,427 for a very low income household of five in Île-de-France (€40,002 elsewhere); and €67,473 for a low income household of five (€51,281 elsewhere).

Okay, I think I qualify. How do I apply?

The first thing to do is create an personal account on the Agence nationale de l’habitat website

You will be directed to an information point, where you can choose an adviser for your renovation project, who will help put together your application.

Once the application has been approved and the work completed, funds will be released to cover the cost.

READ ALSO French home renovations: What grants are available to the elderly and the disabled?

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