PM orders rethink on extended hours for World Cup

fifa world cup trophyThe Prime Minister has ordered a rethink over a government decision not to allow pubs and bars to trade late for FIFA World Cup matches this summer.

David Cameron acted after the Home Office turned down an application by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) for a national extension of hours for late-night broadcasts on two occasions.

He announced it via Twitter, tweeting: “I have ordered a rethink on pub opening times for England’s World Cup games – will consult with pub trade, police and councils.”

The BBPA applied for a national extension for the England versus Italy game in Manaus on Saturday June 14, which is due to start at 11pm UK time, and for the final weekend of the tournament on July 11 and 12.

The Home Office turned it down because it was not considered to be one-off “exceptional circumstances” such as the Queen’s Jubilee or the royal wedding.

This would mean licensees would have to apply individually for a Temporary Events Notice (TEN) to allow them to stay open late for each match which, according to the BBPA, would cost the licensed trade an estimated total of £738,000.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “This would make for the most fantastic news for thousands of publicans and millions of football fans. I am delighted that the Prime Minister has intervened to back Britain’s pubs and make clear that England’s World Cup campaign is a time for celebration.

“This commonsense decision would remove a great deal of bureaucracy for pubs and local councils – and makes clear that the best place to enjoy the England team’s journey is in your local pub.

“We are absolutely thrilled that our efforts have made a real difference for football fans and pubs.”

While a number of matches will be broadcast late in the UK because of the time difference with Brazil, England’s games against Uruguay on June 19 and Costa Rica on June 24 are at 8pm and 5pm UK time respectively.

Matches in the later stages will start at 9pm UK time while the final will be at 8pm UK time on July 13.

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