World Cup: England fans celebrate as the Lionesses edge past Nigeria
England’s Lionesses have the chance to make history and win the Women’s World Cup for the first time on Sunday. Sarina Wiegman’s side are already European champions and the nation will watch with anticipation as they bid to conquer the world in Sydney.
The Lionesses have grown into the tournament and booked their place in the final with a 3-1 victory over host nation Australia on Wednesday. Despite Chelsea’s Sam Kerr cancelling out Ella Toone’s opener England broke Australian hearts thanks to goals from Lauren Kemp and Alessio Russo.
The Government has backed plans for pubs to open early for their 11am kick-off against Spain allowing fans to enjoy a drink while cheering on the Lionesses in the final. Cabinet minister for communities Michael Gove wrote to councils across the country urging them to ‘do whatever they can’ to help pubs open their doors early for the game.
Head coach Wiegman herself backed calls for an extra Bank Holiday to be granted to allow fans to celebrate if her side make history. She said: “I would say yes, I can see all the English people here want it! But let’s do everything to win the game tomorrow.”
However, hopes of an extra Bank Holiday to toast their potential success have been scuppered after the Government ruled out the gesture. A spokesperson said: “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.” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has given the Lionesses his backing ahead of Sunday’s final, after watching them beat host nation Australia he tweeted: “What a performance @Lionesses. Just one more game to go… Bring on Sunday.”
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After already making history by guiding England to European Championship crown last year Wiegman has been tipped by some to be the successor to Gareth Southgate in the England men’s side. Wiegman also won the Euros with the Netherlands in 2017 before guiding them to the 2019 World Cup final – when they were beaten by USA.
“Why wouldn’t it be possible?” said former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink speaking to The Mirror. “It would certainly fit in with how male and female relationships are these days – but it would also have to be based on quality. And for that alone, Sarina Wiegman would be a very suitable candidate. She delivers quality.”
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