A national footballing emergency has been declared, meaning that everything happening in England this evening has been cancelled apart from screenings of the World Cup semi final. All sports fixtures at all levels have been called off, so that people can swap actually playing sport for watching sport. Hospitals have cancelled operations, with women in the throes of childbirth being assured that their hours of agony are as nothing compared to that felt by football fans at the prospect of thirty minutes of extra time.
Cinemas, music venues and theatres are all switching to the match at 7pm, leading to some unusual interpretations of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” among other performances. Evening classes and other activities are all either cancelled or adjourning to “anywhere with a telly”, with feeble attempts to make students “use the Spanish you’ve learnt to discuss the match” not likely to last past the first foul.
All flights from UK airports have been delayed for 90 minutes “or more if it goes to penalties”. Train services have also been suspended on most routes, although it appears that this is just normal service and nothing to do with the football.
However, one person is not letting the match get in the way of business. The Prime Minister is reported to be announcing the signing of the final Brexit deal with the EU Commission at around 7.10pm, confident that the nation will pay lots of attention to the details, and that this is a good day to be dealing with people based in Belgium.