Football fans watch England's first round win


Millions of England fans have watched England win their crunch World Cup match against Slovenia.

The result prompted celebrations across the country, where many businesses and schools had made special arrangements for people to watch the match.

The 1-0 victory saw England qualify for the second round in South Africa, following a strike from Jermaine Defoe.

But thousands of fans in south-west London and Salford missed the match as power cuts affected homes.

Power was out in areas in south-west London for most of the game, while 1,300 homes were affected in the Eccles area.

One of those hit was TV presenter Declan Donnelly.

"We were watching the game in a pub in Kew," he told the BBC News website. "One minute before the goal, the power went."

Kew resident Chris Caulfield's viewing was also disrupted.

"I can't believe I have a HD wide-screen TV and we're listening to the match on a wind-up radio. God bless Trevor Baylis."

An estimated 100,000 fans watched the match at the Glastonbury Festival.

England fans in the country travelled to Port Elizabeth to watch the game, which was played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Fans leaving the stadium said they felt the team had finally got their World Cup campaign under way.

Dan Thomas, 30, a sales manager from Guildford, Surrey, said: "It was an excellent game. We defended well, passed well, it was a completely different performance."

Image caption, Residents in west London had to resort to wind-up radios

He said he was now going to cancel his ticket home to stay for the next match.

Derek Zackon, 50, from Carshalton, south-west London, said: "It was a nervous start but they got the job done.

"The whole country must have been on the edge of their seats for the last 15 minutes."

Many schools in the UK closed early to let pupils see the game.

Students at John Cleveland College, in Leicestershire, were told last week they could leave early. It said it had a positive response, with only two or three people expressing concerns.

The Association of School and College Lecturers said it was a matter for individual schools to decide, but it was not really a problem as most schoolchildren finished at 3pm and would be home for 4pm.

Some local authorities allowed staff to use their flexi-time to watch the match.

The Local Government Association said it depended on the job, as a community support officer on shift was a different matter to someone working in the post room.

"If you look at it from a common sense perspective, you can make arrangements so an employee can make time up later in the week, that's a reasonable approach," a spokesman said.

"It's finding a balance between what everyone wants to get out of it, watching England win, and ensuring services continue as normal."

Meanwhile, Downing Street said the prime minister had a meeting with the Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowan at 1515 BST but would try to watch the second half.

On Tuesday, the TUC called on bosses to let staff watch the match either at work or away from the office if appropriate.

The union's general secretary Brendan Barber said employers should discuss the issue with workers "to avoid any tensions".

But a survey of more than 140 firms by the London Chamber of Commerce found that two-thirds were not making any special arrangements as they could not afford the drop in productivity.

Supermarket giant Tesco appointed 1,900 "World Cup Champions" with responsibilities which include organising flexible rotas so staff could watch the games, and communicating all match fixtures and in-store World Cup related activities to colleagues.

David Potts, retail director at Tesco, said: "We have a diverse workforce and many will want to watch their countries play and so we are doing all we can to accommodate this with options to shift swap or make the time up at a later date as well as playing all matches within our staff rooms."

Cereal manufacturer Kellogg's erected big screens for 600 staff in the central atrium of the company's Manchester HQ.

Image caption, UK forces in Afghanistan will see a recording of the England game

Military personnel serving in Afghanistan were not able to watch the match live, the Ministry of Defence said, but a replay of the game would be shown on the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS).

Troops in more remote locations, without satellite TV, would be sent a DVD later, the MoD added.

Wimbledon rules prevent the screening of the World Cup. The club has refused to relent on this ban and did not publicly show the match on its big screen.

Meanwhile, for those who wanted to fit in shopping around the match, the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent showed the game in one of its cinemas for free.

Heathrow Airport in west London has installed extra screens in each terminal to allow people flying out to catch the matches.

And for those who would rather be outdoors there were big screens in a handful of cities - Leeds, Manchester, Leicester, Middlesbrough and Swansea.

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