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Big screen switch off
5:30am Tuesday 4th February 2014 in News
IT WAS announced yesterday that no matches from the World Cup will be shown on the big screen in Wharf Green this summer.
The decision has been made to both prevent trouble as well as help pubs in the town centre which will be showing the games.
The World Cup is due to be held in Brazil from June 12 until July 13, with interest from fans set to be high.
However, the decision has been taken that no match, regardless of which team is playing or kick-off time, will be shown and talks are still ongoing as to whether either the opening or closing ceremony will be shown.
InSwindon is the company responsible for controlling the screen and says as its funding comes from businesses in the town centre, it is important they are not seen to undermine them.
A spokesman said: “The decision has been taken that none of the matches will be shown on the big screen in Wharf Green.
“Historically we have taken advice from the police and concerns have been raised over possible trouble caused by fans gathering.
“We also have a responsibility not to take away trade from the pubs and bars in the town centre which will be showing the games.
“We are still in discussions on whether we will show the opening and closing ceremonies.
“Throughout the year there will be plenty of other live sport on the screens including the Winter Olympics and the Commonwealth Games.”
Fans will be able to watch many of the games at pubs in the town centre although there is confusion over some of the later kick-offs.
England’s match against Italy on June 14 is due to kick-off at 11pm meaning some pubs will need to extend their hours.
At the weekend, a government minister said because the World Cup was not a special event, licences were not going to be altered, but yesterday the Prime Minister said they would be relaxed for that game only.
Any pub wishing to extend their hours for any of the other games will need to apply for a temporary events notice. Police have said they will consider each application on a case by case basis but have promised every match will be adequately policed.
A spokesperson said: “Any premises wishing to stay open later than the operating hours set out in their licence for specific events must apply for a Temporary Event Notice.
"Wiltshire Police will only object to these notices on the grounds of crime and disorder. All large events are policed proportionately.”
Landlord Paul Mellor, of Yates, in the town centre, said: “It is a key event in the sporting calendar so we are hoping the government will allow us to show the games.
“We hope it will be a big event and we’ll certainly be showing all the England games, and most of the others.”
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