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No Public World Cup Final Screening in Portsmouth

Published: 11th July 2018 16:46

Portsmouth City Council have said that they will not be screening the World Cup final on Sunday.

On Monday Portsmouth Football Club withdrew their offer to allow people to watch the match on their big screen.  The screen has not been tested and there were concerns about a lack of security personnel available and the fear that people could get onto the pitch and ruin the grass for the upcoming season.

On Monday the city council investigated an alternative venue for 25,000 people showing the match on a big screen in a fenced off venue on Southsea Common.  A screen was sourced, arrangements for 100 security staff made and the organisers of Victorious Festival very kindly agreed to run the event.

At the Portsmouth Events Safety Advisory Group meeting for this event the police and NHS raised significant concerns. There was a concern that even with security, there was a high chance of public disorder offences and increased pressure on local health services.

A spokesperson from the council said: "The city council cannot ignore this advice and so it is with great regret that we've come to the conclusion that we cannot provide a screening, even though we had a screen, fencing and security available.

"The city council has to hold itself to the same standards that we'd expect of external event organisers in terms of preparation, safety of attendees and impact on the rest of the city. We can normally put measures in place to alleviate these concerns and to ensure public safety but, in this instance, cannot do so within the limited time available."

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of the Council, said:  "We're extremely disappointed that we are not able to do this and I'd encourage everyone to support their local pubs, clubs and venues to watch the game and to celebrate this occasion with their friends and family to cheer England on."

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