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17th Aug 2023

No extra bank holiday if England women win the World Cup, says UK government

Charlie Herbert

No extra bank holiday if england win the world cup

Bad news guys

The government has no plans to call a bank holiday if England win the Women’s World Cup this weekend.

On Wednesday, the Lionesses beat Australia 3-1 in Sydney to reach their first ever Women’s World Cup and become the first senior England side to a World Cup final since 1966.

This has prompted calls from some for a celebratory bank holiday should the Lionesses beat Spain in the final, which kicks off at 11am on Sunday.

But the government has all but ruled out an extra day off – despite calls from some major politicians.

There has never been a bank holiday in England to mark a sporting occasion. The government resisted calls for one last year following Sarina Wiegman’s side’s win in the Euros last year, and ahead of the men’s team’s Euro 2020 final should they have won it.

Asked if there could be a change of heart this time around, a government spokesperson told the BBC: “We congratulate the Lionesses on their fantastic achievement in getting to the Women’s World Cup final.

“The current pattern of public and bank holidays is well established and there are no plans to change this.”

In a later statement, a government spokesperson added: “Winning the World Cup would be a massive moment for the country and make no mistake we’ll find the right way to celebrate.

“As Sarina Wiegman herself has said, the first thing to do is focus on the final and the whole country will be rooting for the Lionesses this weekend”.

Following England’s semi final win, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said there “should be a celebratory bank holiday if the Lionesses bring it home.”

This was echoed by Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey, who said winning the World Cup would “absolutely” deserve to be marked with a bank holiday.

England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, while Scotland has nine and Northern Ireland 10. There was an extra bank holiday in 2023 for the King’s Coronation.

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