England may have fallen at the final hurdle after their defeat to Croatia in the World Cup, but that hasn’t stopped football fever from coming to Exeter, as a series of events were held, and continue to be held, all across the city.
Exeter City Football Club has been opening its doors to football fans at St James’ Park since the beginning of the World Cup, screening each of England’s games, including the semi-final match on Wednesday evening which saw England defeated by Croatia in extra time. The play-off match for third place between England and Belgium will also be screened at the football stadium on the afternoon of Saturday 14th July, with fans being able to purchase tickets for £6 to cheer on the national team one last time this tournament.
Despite both high and low spirits over the past few weeks, football fans have reportedly been relatively peaceful in their celebrations. After England’s knock-out match against Colombia, Devon and Cornwall Police’s Football Force Unit tweeted “[t]hat’s it for tonight, no arrests. The only criminal activity tonight was on the pitch in the 93rd minute […] [t]hankfully the suspects have been dealt with!” in reference to Colombia’s dramatic extra-time equaliser, and England’s subsequent win on penalties.
a series of events were held, and continue to be held, all across the city.
Businesses across the city have also been getting involved- the recently opened IKEA store in Exeter participated in a nationwide promotion on the day of England’s quarter-final match against Sweden. Customers could enjoy a complementary fish and chips when they bought IKEA’s Swedish meatballs in the restaurant, which IKEA UK & Ireland co-woker Joakim Haby explained was a bid to “make sure our customers don’t have to pick a side”.
Indeed, the World Cup has so enthralled the British public this year that Tom Jones has changed the timings for his concert at Powderham Castle on Sunday 15th July, so that the final between France and Croatia can be screened before he takes to the stage.