No Big Screen In Portsmouth For England Match

4 July 2018, 16:26 | Updated: 4 July 2018, 16:34

World Cup

Portsmouth city council won't be putting up a big screen for fans to watch England's World Cup quarter final against Sweden on Saturday.

They say they can't risk public safety and policing plans are already in place.

In a statement, the council said:

"Following the request for a public place in the city on Saturday afternoon for England's next game in the World Cup - we're unable to provide this because of the risks it would pose in terms of disorder and public safeguarding.

"There's been considerable planning to provide additional resourcing from a policing perspective, working closely with partners with numerous licensing premises across Portsmouth and to change these plans at such short notice would place unacceptable risk to the city in that we could not guarantee a safe environment for the public - and this has to be our first priority."

The penalty shootout that saw England beat Colombia last night was the most-watched TV broadcast in 6 years - with an audience of 24 million.

England's World Cup win over Colombia was watched by an average 16.5 million people, with the audience peaking at 24.4 million, ITV has said.

The figures are the highest for any World Cup match so far this year.

The biggest-ever audience is 25.2 million, for England's semi-final against West Germany in 1990.

The BBC has the rights to England's next 2018 World Cup game, which is against Sweden in the quarter-finals at 3pm on Saturday July 7.

If England win, the team's semi-final match will be shown by ITV.

Theresa May has said she could not bear to watch the penalty shootout that saw England progress to the World Cup quarter-finals.

The Prime Minister found the tension too much as Gareth Southgate's team's tie with Colombia came down to the spot-kick finale.

A Downing Street source said Mrs May watched some of the match but added: "She actually said earlier she struggles to watch penalties because it's a nerve-wracking time."

At Prime Minister's Questions Mrs May praised the Three Lions for their "very rare and welcome" penalty shootout victory in Moscow.

The team triumphed 4-3 from the spot, after the tie finished 1-1 following extra time, to secure their first World Cup win on penalties.

England now face Sweden in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn wants the whole UK to get a day off if England win the World Cup in Russia.

The Labour leader, who did watch the dramatic penalty shootout, thinks there should be a bank holiday if Southgate's team emulates the heroes of 1966.

A senior Labour spokesman said: "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but I think it is the case that Jeremy believes that if England were to win the World Cup there should be a public bank holiday in celebration."

The spokesman said any bank holiday would have to come soon after the match and would cover the whole of the UK, and not just England.

"The World Cup is a very special international competition," he said. "It's something that brings people together on a very large scale and we need recognition of that and recognition of the importance of football in the country."

Research undertaken by Labour when it proposed the establishment of four new bank holidays in its 2017 manifesto showed that some claims about the negative economic impact of an additional day off were "entirely invented", he said.

The spokesman said Mr Corbyn has not imposed a ban on shadow ministers attending games at Russia 2018 to match the official boycott by ministers and members of the royal family announced following the Salisbury poisonings.

However, he declined to say how the Labour leader would respond if invited to see England play in the final.