Why Portsmouth needs a big screen if England reach the World Cup final | News Comment

Some events only come around once in a generation. Sadly for England football fans, doing well in major tournaments is one of those events - and so well might we enjoy this summer for all that it's worth.

Tuesday, 10th July 2018, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:45 pm
England fans are flocking to Russia for the semi-final. Picture: Tim Goode/ PA Wire.

After the last few weeks we all know the lyrics to Three Lions off by heart, and the moments of when Lineker scored and Bobby belted the ball now have their 2018 equivalents; but success against Croatia tomorrow night would lead to more wonder moments being imprinted in the nation's psyche.

And that's why we say to Portsmouth City Council... come on, let's have a big screen for the World Cup final! 

We understand that there is a cost involved. 

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England fans are flocking to Russia for the semi-final. Picture: Tim Goode/ PA Wire.

We understand that there are logistics given the relatively short notice.

And we understand that there is an element of risk involved in organising any outdoor event, particularly one in which emotions run high and alcohol could be involved. 

But let's not be naysayers about this. Let's remember Pompey's 2008 FA Cup Final victory which was screened on Southsea Common, as was the 2010 defeat to Chelsea.

Let's remember the celebrations on the common the day after the final in 2008, after the open-top bus tour of the city - and let's also remember the Olympic Torch relay in 2012 which culminated in a huge free concert. Thousands of people turned out for that. It was a great night. 

When this city goes big, it does things well. When you give people the chance to enjoy themselves, they come out in force. No longer should we be watching the telly and see footage from Nottingham, Leeds, Brighton and other cities and think 'why don't we do that?' 

We fully accept there's not time to set up anything for tomorrow night's semi-final. Not now, not at this notice. And we also accept that the limited space in Guildhall Square would not be acceptable - there may already be a big screen there, but there is not enough room to cope with the potential crowds who could be attracted. 

But we urge everyone who can make this happen on the common to do their utmost - and when it does take place, we also urge everyone who is there to behave properly.

Let's unite as a city, and as a country... and also let's hope it's not another 28 years until the next World Cup semi.