World Cup 2018: Aldi and Lidl will close early if England in final

England fans in Bristol celebrating England's quarter-final win over Sweden on Saturday Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption England fans in Bristol celebrating England's quarter-final win over Sweden on Saturday

Supermarkets Aldi and Lidl say they will close stores early on Sunday if England get through to the World Cup final - because "football's coming home".

The chains have promised all staff in stores in England they can go home at 15:00 BST on Sunday 15 July so they can watch the match.

Now some are asking whether other supermarkets will follow suit.

England play Croatia in the semi-final in Moscow on Wednesday.

Embracing the football fever, Aldi tweeted: "We're pretty sure it's coming home right?

"We want our colleagues to be the 12th man cheering on the lads."

The supermarket said it usually closes at 16:00 on Sundays, which is when England will (hopefully) be kicking off.

Meanwhile, Lidl - confidently emphasising "when", not if - said: "*When* our boys make it to the final this Sunday, it will be early doors across our English stores."

A metalwork company in Sheffield has promised to give all staff a paid day off on Monday 16 July - if England win the World Cup.

Ryan Maddocks and Steven Furniss, directors of AMI, said: "It's not every day it happens so we might as well make the most.

"They [the staff] work weekends and for when it's required. So it's morale boosting really."

Nearly 20 million television viewers watched England beat Sweden in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

On Twitter, people have been asking other UK supermarkets whether they would also be closing early on Sunday.

One person, who said they were an employee of Sainsbury's, tweeted: "I believe all stores across the country should close early this Sunday to celebrate the fact the football is indeed coming home."

And, asked on Twitter whether it had extra delivery slots on Sunday "for the football to come home in", supermarket Tesco said: "There's a football shaped space in our Moscow to London delivery van!"

Other businesses are also attempting to join in on the England fever. Mobile phone company Three has added emojis of three lions to some of its store fronts.

Meanwhile, Martyn Hawkins, from Altrincham, said he will be in the middle of his first Ironman triathlon on Sunday.

"Just before the World Cup started I checked timings and I found out that there was a clash with the final," he said.

"Jokingly, I suggested that England were now guaranteed to get to the final, just to spite me. Now, when football comes home on Wednesday the country can thank me.

"I just need to work out how I can smuggle a radio around the course as headphones are banned."

Wimbledon Tennis Championships said it will not move the men's singles final on Sunday afternoon, which clashes with the World Cup final - even if England do get through.

But the chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Richard Lewis, said fans will be allowed to follow the football on their mobile phones and tablets as long as they do not cause disruption.

ITV said there are no plans to tell the Love Island contestants if England make it through to the World Cup final.

The contestants in the Spanish villa currently do not know that England have reached the semi-finals, a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, ahead of England's semi-final game against Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, England fans are racing to the airport to check in for last minute flights to Russia.

The National Police Chiefs' Council estimates that up to 10,000 fans are travelling to the country for the match - but only around half are expected to get tickets through official channels, while others may use the black market.

The British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park in London announced it is postponing planned events to screen Wednesday evening's match.

The festival opened a ballot for people to apply for 30,000 tickets.

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Media captionWestbury's White Horse in Wiltshire was briefly turned into an England flag on Tuesday - but was later removed by English Heritage

And police across the country are warning fans to "be respectful of others around them" during the semi-final.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Superintendent Graeme Openshaw said: "Fans have to strike a balance and we'd ask people not to overstep the line."

Many forces were inundated with calls following England's quarter-final against Sweden on Saturday - with West Midlands Police recording its busiest ever 24 hours.

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