‘Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.’
It’s often misquoted, but legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly’s infamous assessment of football has never been more relevant with the World Cup up and running.
Across the world, billions of people will be tuning in to watch the world’s greatest sporting spectacle. Not even the incompetence and alleged corruption of organizers FIFA can deter people from gluing their eyes to all 56 matches coming up over the next few weeks.
Taking place in the Brazil – a place many people see as the spiritual home of the game (the actual home is here in the UK as everyone knows) – the tournament will hopefully be a classic. England, despite having a young and inexperienced team, might be able to surprise a few people. Winning it might be beyond their reach but you never know in sport, especially football.
However, as always with major tournaments, there is a slight problem. Just how do you go about watching all the important games without missing work or making the boss mad?
Here’s how you can watch all the England games without interfering with your work schedule.
Italy- 14th June
Luckily, the first England game against Italy takes place at 11pm on Saturday 14 June, so unless you work in a bar or as a nightclub doorman, the chances are you’ll be free to watch it- if you can stay up that late…
England vs Uruguay- 19th June
The second of the group games against Uruguay kicks off at 8pm on Thursday 19 June so again should cause few problems for those with an ordinary office schedule. This is the ideal match to watch down the pub, so get your colleagues together and make a night of it.
Costa Rica- 24th June
However, the last game against Costa Rica kicks off at 5pm on Tuesday 24 June. Should this be England’s last game (hopefully not!) you will definitely not want to miss any of this, so get your requests for an early finish in now or you might have to miss the first half.
Just in case…
Even if England do make it out of the group in either first or second place, the next round of matches take place on either Saturday 28 or Sunday 29 June. Quarter finals will take place on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 of July at reasonable hours, although the semi finals – should England get there – will be at 5pm on either Tuesday 8 or Wednesday 9 July, so that’s something to bear in mind. You might want to pencil those dates into your work holiday schedule – just on the off chance.
In order to maximize your viewing pleasure, you might want to get a few extra hours off in order to get somewhere to watch the game. Otherwise you’ll be watching it from the back of the pub over the shoulders of all the other customers.
Alternatively, if you can’t get the time off, you could try and watch it at your desk, streaming it from the computer. Just make sure you have a couple of other windows open so that you can make it look like you’re working if the boss comes over.
Unlike the last tournament in South Africa, the games are at a slightly more reasonable hour (the games last time round were during the early afternoon). That means there is less interruption to the working day in order to watch them.
Fingers crossed 2014 is a tournament to remember!