World Cup 2018: Japanese temple hosts 'calm' World Cup screening

Buddhist monks attend morning prayer at a temple in Nagano
Buddhist monks attend morning prayer at a temple in Nagano

A Zen Buddhist temple in Japan is encouraging fans to watch calmly when it screens the national team's World Cup last-16 tie with Belgium.

The match, which kicks off at 3am local time but is set to draw a big audience, will be the first time Tokoji Temple has let the public watch a game there.

"I am quietly wishing for victory," said chief priest Taiko Ishida, 51.

"We hope people will watch the game calmly without whistles or drums, except when goals are scored."

He added: "I'm looking forward to seeing many people visit us and enjoy, as a lot of people are interested in the World Cup."

Japan entered the tournament with low expectations, after a series of disappointing pre-tournament results and the dismissal of coach Vahid Halilhodzic just months before the tournament began.

The upheaval does not appear to have disturbed the team as they qualified for the knock-out stages after finishing second in group H.

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