World Cup 2018: England semi to be shown in Manchester

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Leeds was one of many open air screenings of England's quarter final across the country

England's World Cup semi-final will be screened outdoors in Manchester city centre after public demand.

The team's previous matches have not been shown following crowd trouble during the 2006 World Cup and at the 2008 Uefa Cup Final in the city.

However, Castlefield Bowl will host up to 8,000 spectators at a free-ticketed screening on Wednesday after the Auto Trader firm agreed to sponsor it.

The council said anyone with beer cans and bottles will be "turned away".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The council wants avoid scenes like this from the 2008 Uefa Cup final

Councillor Pat Karney, lead member for Manchester city centre, said he "cringed" at the city's absence in broadcasts of fans' celebrations.

"You can imagine all the emails I got after that went out on TV so we were very, very keen to do our best to get sponsors."

In 2006, crowd frustration spilled over after authorities underestimated the number of spectators at an Exchange Square screening of an England match.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Manchester United players Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are in the England squad

Trouble also flared two years later when a screen failed at a fan zone during the Uefa Cup final between Glasgow Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg in Manchester.

A number of rioters were later jailed. Mr Karney said local authorities "learnt great lessons".

"In the past, we have had problems with bottles and cans.

"They won't be allowed on the site this time. People will be searched but we will have bars on-site so there will be a great occasion."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Manchester fans have mostly been watching the games indoors

Mr Karney said tickets for Wednesday's screening would be available online with a "small booking fee".

He added the event could only happen as the sponsors would "have to spend a lot of money for a lot of security staff", adding that those costs were "confidential".

"I've never seen Manchester so busy or cheerful - everyone is in a great mood.

"But with that great mood, just be very careful - don't go over the limits, particularly young people."

Lei Sorvisto, Auto Trader's brand director, said Manchester is "a strong contender for the home of football, so we're delighted to make this historic game even more special for the people of Manchester".