Lie-in for the Lionesses, says England boss Mark Sampson

Tuesday 30 Jun 2015
Mark Sampson addresses media ahead of Wednesday night's game

England Women’s head coach Mark Sampson has urged bosses around the country to allow staff a lie-in so the entire nation can tune in for Wednesday night’s FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-final against holders Japan.

The crunch match in Edmonton – only the third time an England team has reached a World Cup semi-final after the men’s team progressed to this stage in 1966 and 1990 – kicks off at midnight.

It means fans with work on Thursday morning may miss out on the biggest match for English football since the men reached the last four of EURO 96 on home soil.

Japan v England

FIFA Women's World Cup
Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Live on BBC One from 11.10pm, Wednesday

Sampson has drafted a cut-out-and-keep letter for fans to submit to their managers in return for some extra duvet-time.

Martin Glenn, CEO of The FA, has backed Sampson’s call and will allow all FA staff an extra hour in bed on Thursday morning where possible.

He said: “It will be great for the whole country to get behind the Lionesses and wear their colours with pride on Wednesday. 

"We are certainly urging all staff to do so at Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park.

“Where possible, we are also encouraging colleagues to stay up late and roar on the squad, even if that means starting a bit later on Thursday. 

"Have a ‘lie-in for the Lionesses’ is our message. After all, moments like this are special and help bring the nation together. Come on England!”

The FA is also hoping that parents will allow their children to stay up – or get up at midnight – to watch the game live. 

The FA’s ‘We Can Play’ campaign is encouraging more girls to play football so it hopes parents around the country will allow daughters – and sons – to watch the historic match and help inspire the next generation of Lionesses.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup has already enjoyed unprecedented media attention and millions of fans have watched the Lionesses progress to the semi-finals. 

In all, 1.6m tuned in for the 2-1 victory over host nation Canada, which kicked off at 12.30am on Sunday and the BBC has again moved the semi-final showdown to its flagship BBC One channel.

With Sampson’s team potentially 90 minutes from a World Cup Final appearance – which would be the first time an England team has featured in a Final since Sir Alf Ramsey’s heroic side claimed the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 – Wednesday’s match marks one of the most significant moments in the history of the game in this country.

Click here to download your cut-out-and-keep Lie-In for the Lionesses permission slip

By FA Staff