Semi-final screened outdoors
HUNDREDS of football fans will be able to watch England’s World Cup semi-final clash in the evening sun – on a big screen on the Waterfront.
The screen is to be placed in Marina Gardens – the green alongside Castle Quay – for a 2,000-capacity ‘family event’.
Food and refreshments will be on sale, but fans will have to celebrate – or commiserate – with a soft drink, as alcohol is banned.
The event is the result of work by Constable Simon Crowcroft, Senator Steve Pallett and Deputy Kevin Pamplin, and the cost of transporting, erecting and operating the screen is being met by a combination of public and private funding.
For at least one Islander – Bero Bobus – friendships will have to be put aside for 90 minutes, and possibly extra-time and penalties.
Mr Bobus, who has represented Jersey in beach volleyball at the NatWest Island Games, will be flying the flag for his native Croatia.
Much like England, Croatia have been something of a surprise package during the tournament, reaching the semi-finals for the first time since 1998.
Mr Bobus said: ‘They have exceeded expectations in Croatia. Whatever happens, they are already heroes – there is no pressure.
‘I think most of Croatia just thought we should try to get past the group stage and see what happens from there. It has been a fantastic couple of weeks.
‘There is a lot of pressure on England to bring football home and that could be our advantage.’
Mr Bobus, who works for Contrarius Investment Management, faces a race home to watch what is arguably the biggest game in his country’s history. He is due to land back in Jersey from a business trip at around 7 pm – when the kick-off whistle is due to be blown.
And he admitted that an England win could make things difficult for him over the next few days.
‘I am surrounded by English people,’ he said. ‘Where I go will depend on how the game finishes.
‘If England win, I will have to put my tail between my legs and congratulate England. If Croatia win, I will be wearing my Croatia top for a month.’