The 2022 Qatar World Cup is fast approaching and while everyone is figuring out where they’re going to watch, millions of Brits are said to be planning sickies already.
As games are running from anywhere between 10am and 7pm, Monday-Friday, England and Wales fans are already thinking of ways to squeeze the games into the working week.
Not only does the first game of Qatar 2022 start at 4pm on 20 November but England’s first match against Iran kicks off at 1pm the following day — on a Monday no less! As for the Welsh, they’re earliest fixtures is their second game which starts at 10am. Oof.
With that in mind, more than 30% of British workers have admitted they will call in sick so they can watch their respective teams play, as per a study by ‘Road to Victory‘: Europe’s largest fan zone.
The massive space set up by interactive experience and events provider AIX Live is showing every England game in Manchester’s Depot Mayfield this World Cup, but they’ve also been looking into what the fans are planning to do get watch the games during working hours.
According to RtV‘s research, the top three excuses fans are expected to give to their employers in order to miss a day of work are vomiting and diarrhoea (14%), followed by migraines (4.5%) and finally Covid (3.6%). Hey, we’ve all pulled a sickie for much less important reasons.
As for those still enjoying work-from-home days, over two-thirds (61.4%) say they plan to skip going into the office to watch the footy whilst ‘working’ from the comfort of their own gaff.
Moreover, despite everyone obviously planning to pull a sickie and skive off work to watch the Three Lions and The Dragons, almost half of workers in the UK (46%) said they would take an ‘honest’ half-day holiday if their employers offered one. These numbers are extrapolated form a surey of over 2,000 fans.
However, that isn’t enough for Road to Victory, as they have started a petition for businesses around the nation to issue half-day for all England fans wanting to watch the first game. Sounds fair to us.
Speaking directly to employers, their campaign aims to discourage faking calling in sick and unnecessary WFH days by promoting the match as a team-building exercise where employees can hopefully celebrate the victory together.
We recently went to Depot Mayfield to get a sneak peek at Road to Victory, as it happens. It was seriously impressive. Certainly worth pulling a sickie for!
AIX Live’s David Norris said: “The upcoming world cup is not just about supporting England, it’s an opportunity for friends, family and employees to come together and celebrate victory.
“The Lionesses won gold this year – and now it’s time for the boys to bring home the trophy.
“With the world cup taking place in Qatar, more fans than ever will be supporting from home in the UK and it’s the responsibility of businesses to ensure that employees are able to celebrate.
“Sign the petition – and let’s make a milestone change.”
Police issue update after Sterling flies home from World Cup following home invasion
Surrey Police have issued an update following Raheem Sterling’s home invasion that has forced the England international to fly home from the 2022 World Cup.
The former Manchester City star was left out of the Three Lions squad against Senegal due to a “family matter” on Sunday before the exact circumstances were confirmed shortly after.
Authorities have now verified that hundreds of thousands of pounds of goods had been stolen from the property but that, fortunately, “no threat of violence was involved”.
Sterling flew just hours after hearing of the break-in at his home Leatherhead home where he lives with his fiancé and two children.
Manager Gareth Southgate could not confirm whether the Chelsea player will be returning to the squad, insisting that, obviously, “the priority is for him to be with his family” and that they will “give him as much time as he needs”.
The police force said in a statement: “We are currently investigating a report of a burglary at an address in Oxshott, Leatherhead.
“Police were contacted just before 9pm on Saturday, December 3rd after the occupants of the property came home and discovered a number of items including jewellery and watches had been stolen.
“Inquiries to establish the circumstances are underway and the investigation is ongoing. No threat of violence was involved as the items were discovered stolen retrospectively. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”
Grealish holds his hands up over Almirón dig: ‘I do stupid stuff’
Jack Grealish has finally held his hands up after mocking Miguel Almirón, assuring that while he has made mistakes in career, he has a “good heart”.
Speaking to the media at the national camp in Qatar, the footballer was asked about his now-infamous dig at the Newcastle player, quipping that teammate Riyad Mahrez “played like Almirón” in a sub-par performance during Manchester City‘s 2021/22 title-winning match back in May.
Ironically, Grealish‘s Almiron joke has preceded an incredible run of form from the winger this year, arguably being their player of the season with eight goals to his name already.
Despite the 28-year-old insisting he has “never really paid attention” to what people say about him, he will have inevitably seen the viral clip.
Nevertheless, the England and City star took accountability for the unnecessary outburst, confessing, “I do stupid stuff, that was one”, whilst assuring: “Obviously I’ve done stupid stuff in my life but I think everything that I do good is from my heart.”
The 27-year-old went on to say that describe his Premier League peer as a “great player”, adding: “what a guy… if that was me and somebody had said that about me, I’d have probably been the other way and been like: ‘f*** it'”.
While he said he didn’t think the drunken video would go public, he knows it wasn’t the most professional of moments and that not only is he “buzzing” to see Almirón playing so well but that he will be sure to “show him the most respect” the next time they meet on the pitch.