World Cup 2018: Massive outdoor screens going up around country as England prepares for semi-final showdown

UK

Football is coming home – or at least to a big screen near you in time for the World Cup semi-final against Croatia. 

Cities across England including London, Manchester and Sheffield, have announced they are to put up huge TVs for fans wanting to watch the national team on Wednesday evening.

In the capital, the biggest screening of a match since Euro 96 will take place at Hyde Park with 30,000 tickets being made available.

And, on Monday, the idea appeared so popular that moments after tickets were made available online by promoters British Summer Time, the site crashed. It remains down.

Revealing the plan, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “World Cup fever has gripped London and the rest of the nation and we have all been swept away by the fantastic exploits of Gareth Southgate’s team.

“Wednesday evening is a huge opportunity for our boys to do what many of us thought was impossible before the World Cup began and reach the final. I am sure Londoners of all ages and backgrounds will come together in their thousands at Hyde Park to cheer England on what could be an historic night.”

In Manchester the game will be shown at the Castlefield Bowl, while in Sheffield a giant screen has gone up at the city’s sprawling Devonshire Green.

And while many cities – including Birmingham and Leeds have had outdoor showings for much of the World Cup – others are now looking into the possibility of screening the semi-final. 

Southampton, Cambridge and Portsmouth councils are all understood to be considering their options.

Culture secretary Matt Hancock said he would work with any council wanting to show the game outdoors. He said: “Gareth Southgate and his amazing team have brought people together this summer.

“Wednesday is a special day for our nation and I’m thrilled people will be able to come from far and wide to watch the game and cheer on England together.”

Tickets will be required for all the above screenings but most, including at Hyde Park and in Sheffield, are expected to be free.

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