Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

200,000 sign petition calling for bank holiday if England win World Cup

Luka Modric GETTY THREAT Luka Modric could sink England in Moscow
Kristopher Love | 11 July, 2018, 18:53

England are in the last four of the World Cup for the first time since losing to Germany on penalties in 1990.

Manager Gareth Southgate and England are ready to face the music.

The number of signatories to the petition, on the United Kingdom government and Parliament website, means it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons. "We do not want to say we are exhausted, because there are still plenty of opportunities to exhaust ourselves".

"I'm rare breed. I'm an Englishman that doesn't drink tea, " he said.

England's Harry Kane was goalless in his game against Sweden, so he's still chasing that seventh goal needed to break Gary Lineker's record for the most English goals scored at a World Cup.

But he is hopeful he has recovered well ahead of the semi-final against Croatia tonight.

Six charter flights with more than 1,000 people on board left Croatia - a country of just four million people - to swell the team's support in the 80,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium.

Lovren, whose nation are into the semi-finals for the first time since 1998, said Croatia could play with freedom.

"It is a success that we will remember for generations".

"They aren't in the semifinal for no reason", he said at a news conference.

"Gareth Southgate and the boys have done a fantastic job and I'm sure that they are going to go on to do well".

The victor will take on France in Sunday's showpiece, while the loser will be forced into a play-off for third place against Belgium. "You can see that togetherness on the pitch now, and I think that's valuable in crucial moments in big games, and yeah, I can definitely say this is most together England team that I've been involved in, and so I think that makes a massive difference and you get your rewards for that".

England's last, and only, World Cup victory was in 1966.

It was a painful defeat for Belgium, foiled at the semi-final for the second time in their history, as the clock ticks on their so-called "golden generation" of players.

"Fortunately I live in Edinburgh, and that's only 30 minutes away, so I won't have to sit quietly in the corner of a Scottish pub, although it's not really like that".

In delirious scenes in Paris, fans let off fire crackers and released smoke flares - and predicted they would win a second World Cup. "We'll repeat that this Sunday", said one supporter, Sebastien.