Sports Café granted 6am licence for every World Cup match

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Related tags: World cup, United kingdom

The Sports Café in Haymarket, London, claims to be the first outlet in the country to be granted a licence to open early for every World Cup match...

The Sports Café in Haymarket, London, claims to be the first outlet in the country to be granted a licence to open early for every World Cup match this summer.

The bar is believed to be the only outlet in the country that has been granted permission to open early and sell alcohol from 6am during all World Cup matches - not just those England are playing in.

Although last month's landmark High Court decision means pubs are likely to be granted extensions for England matches, the Sports Café's owners wanted to open for all the early matches.

Its application was approved after it got support from the embassies of those nations involved in the football tournament.

David Evans, the Sports Café's operations director, said: "London is home to thousands of football fans from overseas who want to cheer their teams just as much as the England fans. Now they can enjoy a beer, or a buck's fizz in a fantastic atmosphere - whichever team they are supporting."

Sports Café finance director Rodger Sargent poured scorn on the magistrates' original assertion that the World Cup was not a special event. "This World Cup will be the biggest media event the world has ever seen," he said. "If England have a good run the whole of Britain will grind to a halt."

Meanwhile, more pubs across the country have been applying for extended hours during the World Cup.

Pub retailer Eldridge Pope is intending to apply for extensions for 40 of its pubs. The company initially plans to apply for early opening for England's matches against Sweden on June 2 and Nigeria on June 12, but it is going to make provisions for later games, should England get past the group stage.

Operations manager Mike Henderson said: "We are confident about obtaining the extensions following the High Court ruling and hope to offer our customers the best coverage of the World Cup. I would even go as far as to say that watching the games at our pubs will be the next best thing to seeing them live."

With so many pubs planning to open, sports fan Rob Millar has extended his website www.sportspubs.co.uk.

Mr Millar's site includes more than 300 pubs with information about which ones are opening early for games, which are supporting which national team, how many are running special promotions and general reviews of each of the pubs.

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Trade welcomes World Cup ruling (12 April 2002)

Related topics: Licensing law, Sport

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