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World Cup final: How city centres are preparing for England vs Spain

Football fans up and down England are celebrating their side reaching the World Cup final after the Lionesses beat hosts Australia 3-1 in a captivating semi-final on Wednesday.

England will now take on Spain in the final of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday, 20 August, at 11am UK time, 8pm in Sydney where the match will take place. The match will be shown live on ITV and BBC.

Cities across the UK are gearing up for England’s final showdown, with millions of fans expected to tune in from packed out bars, pubs, and outdoor screenings to watch the Lionesses fight their way to glory.

Where can you watch the match?

In the capital, all three Boxpark fan zones in London sold out eight minutes after the final whistle of the Lionesses’ World Cup semi-final win. A spokesperson said that 2,500 tickets across their sites in Shoreditch, Wembley and Croydon sold out in under 10 minutes.

Both London and Manchester said local councils will announce details of scores of outdoor screenings to make sure that fans on the other side of world won’t miss out on the atmosphere when the team battle it out in Sydney.

Pubs up and down the country have said they’ll relax business hours, opening their doors half an hour earlier than usual to make sure fans are in time for the 11am kick off.

“Pubs are the home of live sport, with the atmosphere and sense of togetherness unrivalled – and even when broadcast from the other side of the world – this tournament is no different.”

The BPA added that there’ll be watch parties and events across the country, adding: “We are encouraging people to get down to their local this Sunday and come together with friends and family to cheer England on to victory!”

English cities plan for the upcoming final

Sadiq Khan congratulated the team on social media for their win against Australia on Wednesday, which sealed their place in the final.

“What a game. A massive congratulations to our incredible Lionesses. Know that all of England is with you as you head into the final – we couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of you!”, the Mayor said on X, formerly Twitter.

The City of London said that screenings will take place across the capital and that Londoners should check details with their local councils, adding: “Londoners to come together to support the many fantastic venues, bars and restaurants showing the final and cheer the team on to glory. “

Merton Council has already confirmed that it will be showing the event for free on West Lawn as part of a drive to become “London’s borough of sport.”

Manchester City Council said that fans should stay tuned for updates on screenings and events for the big match, noting that it would take place at the same time of other scheduled events, including the 51st Manchester Caribbean Festival.

The city doubled its screens in Piccadilly Gardens to show the Euros final between England and Germany last year- doubling up to a capacity of 2,000 people.

Elsewhere, Birmingham said that it had no plans for additional screenings but said that football fans are already “well served by a wide variety of commercial premises where they can cheer on England.”

A record breaking 17.4 million people tuned into watch the Lionesses stunning victory against Germany in 2022, bringing in an £81m boost for the U.K’s cities, according to EY.

What will the Lionesses get if they win?

If the Lionesses are victorious on Sunday, it will be the first time that players will receive individual fees from Fifa.

The winning team’s players will receive $270,000 (£217,000) each in Australia and New Zealand, while each individual competing in the group stage will earn $30,000 (£24,000).

The footballers’ union Fifpro said that the move was the outcome of “tremendous global collective action by over 150 national team players”.

The prize money is a 300 per cent increase from 2019, but still only a third of what the men’s team got in 2022. Fifa vowed to fix pay parity between male and female players by 2027.

“For the first time ever, I [plan to] dedicate a specific portion of this payment, which mainly has to go to football development, but a specific portion of that should go of course to the players,” Fifa president Gianni Infantino said.

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