The pub industry is lobbying to extend closing time from Saturday 11 p.m. until Sunday 1 a.m., and it has picked up a big supporter: David Cameron, the British Prime Minister who overruled the Home Office, which had refused a request for an extension of licensing times across the country. It suggested pubs could apply individually to local authorities for a license extension.
I have ordered a rethink on pub opening times for England's World Cup games - will consult with pub trade, police and councils.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) February 3, 2014
"This would make for the most fantastic news for thousands of publicans and millions of football fans," British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said it was a commonsense decision. " I am delighted that the prime minister has intervened."
The England-Italy kickoff time was pushed back to avoid early kickoffs in the hottest and most humid weather conditions, such as those in Manaus, site of the game. (The USA-Portugal kickoff in Manaus was also pushed back to 6 p.m. ET -- a very favorable time for U.S. broadcasters.)
England's other group games, as well any potential knockout matches, will kick off at 9 p.m. UK time or earlier. The only possible crisis for publicans will come if there is overtime for games that kick off 9 p.m.