World Cup: Parliament set to debate bank holiday if England win tournament, after over 200,000 fans sign petition

Fans call for Monday off work in anticipation of 'football coming home'

Maya Oppenheim,Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Wednesday 11 July 2018 11:44 BST
Croatia England World Cup semi-final preview

Parliament will consider making the day after England (potentially) wins the World Cup a bank holiday, after more than 200,000 fans signed a petition.

The petition has passed the threshold to be debated in the House of Commons – meaning the government is forced to consider whether Monday after the final should be a day of no work across Britain.

“We need this for all those supporting England as the next day will not be pleasant for all fans,” wrote petition organiser Liam Betson.

It is the first year England have managed to secure a place in the semi-finals since 1990 – with fans starting to believe this could finally be the year football comes home.

If England beat Croatia in Moscow tonight, Sunday will see them face France in the final.

This would be the first time England has got to the final since their sole World Cup victory, over half a century ago, in 1966.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously called for the government to implement a national Bank Holiday if England were to win the World Cup.

It comes as supermarkets predict more than 50 million beers will be sold this weekend as the football final coincides with a sustained period of warm weather.

Tesco is forecasting it will sell around four million burgers, more than 50 million bottles and cans of beer and cider, 25,000 electric fans and almost 70,000 disposable barbecues as the celebratory atmosphere continues.

“The all too rare combination of Mediterranean weather and England progressing to the last four of the World Cup has created a contagious feelgood factor that is sweeping the country,” Tesco ice cream buying manager Sonia Morland said.

“Many people have switched their shopping habits and are continuing to enjoy barbecues in their gardens, as they make the most of the fantastic weather.”

Some supermarkets are to close their doors early amid signs of a quiet Sunday afternoon on the high street if England make it through to the World Cup final.

In the event of a win against Croatia, Aldi and Lidl stores across England will close early at 3pm on Sunday, an hour before kick-off.

Lidl UK chief executive Christian Hartnagel said: “As the official supermarket of the England football team, we absolutely believe it’s coming home, which is why we are planning to close stores an hour early, and take part in what we hope will become a day of national celebration.”

Lidl said it had experienced its highest ever footfall during the tournament and was preparing for “another bumper weekend” with more warm weather ahead.

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer is encouraging the nation to support the team by wearing waistcoats on “#waistcoatwednesday” in a nod to Gareth Southgate’s pitch-side attire.

Fans taking part in so-called ‘Waistcoat Wednesday’ are being encouraged to donate to blood cancer charity Bloodwise.

The Three Lions manager has sported a navy blue Marks & Spencer one throughout England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia, which has led to increased sales and more Google searches for the item back home.

M&S said waistcoat sales had doubled since the tournament began on 14 June, with website searches up by over 100 per cent.

Additional reporting by agencies

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