The Home Office has today (Thursday 13th March 2014) launched a two week consultation on the proposal to relax licensing hours for England matches in this year’s World Cup. The consultation is open until 11:59pm on 26th March.
Relaxation of licensing laws during the World Cup would allow local pubs to stay open for England’s late kick-offs. The Three Lions’ Group D opener against Italy doesn’t kick-off until 11pm (UK time) which means anyone planning on watching the match in their local could find themselves kicked out at last orders, just as the game is about to start.
The Home Office acknowledges that “many football supporters will choose to watch the matches in pubs and bars” and wants to “ensure people can enjoy World Cup matches responsibly and safely”. But it also says it needs to “balance the needs of business with managing the risk of increased alcohol-related crime and disorder”.
David Wilson of the British Beer and Pub Association is a Norwich City season ticket holder who works on behalf of the pub trade. He’s encouraging fans to take part in the consultation and says the atmosphere in your local during big England games takes some beating.
“Watching the match in the pub with your mates is the next best thing to being there. We all have a chance to have our say and ensure that pubs are allowed to open late for the England matches in Brazil,” says David.
“We’d encourage fans and pub-goers to complete the Home Office consultation online and show your support for pubs to open late for all England games during the World Cup. Most of us can’t afford to go to Brazil and this is a chance to bring the carnival atmosphere home to your local.
“We have two weeks to make our voices heard. Let’s make sure that the voice of the sensible majority who want to be able to follow England in their local without any hassle is heard loud and clear.”