Why you won't be able to watch the England-Sweden World Cup quarter-final on a big screen in Portsmouth today

  ENGLAND fans in Portsmouth will not be able to watch the World Cup quarter-final against Sweden on a big screen today.   Â

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 7th July 2018, 12:27 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:15 pm
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saves a penalty from Colombia's Carlos Bacca last night Picture: PA Wire
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saves a penalty from Colombia's Carlos Bacca last night Picture: PA Wire

The MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, wrote to city council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson asking him to get behind a public event so supporters could watch the game on an open-air big screen.

He suggested that the bandstand or another area of Southsea Common could be used, if there was police and council support.

Mr Morgan said: '˜England held their nerve and won their first ever World Cup shootout securing their place in the quarter finals. It was a euphoric way to go through and these are the moments when England fans up and down the nation, and in our great city, can be forgiven for daring to believe something special is building.'

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England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saves a penalty from Colombia's Carlos Bacca last night Picture: PA Wire

However, Cllr Vernon-Jackson says the idea is a non-starter.

He said: '˜It took me a two-minute phone call to find out what the police view was.

'The Big Screen [in Guildhall Square] cannot show it because of advice from police. And it would not be possible to put security in place at another venue for the game.'

Pompey's FA Cup Final victory in 2008 was shown on a big screen on Southsea Common, but not their appearance in the final two years later.

An email written by Portsmouth district commander Superintendent Maggie Blyth, seen by The News, says: '˜The reason we have not supported making a public space available in the past to watch the World Cup 2018, and would not do so now, is because of the considerable risks inherent in relation to crime and disorder, safeguarding, and CT [counter terrorism].

'˜In discussion with the previous administration at PCC as part of the planning for the World Cup 2018, in line with previous high profile football matches, our advice remains not to facilitate a public space to watch the football.

'˜Moreover, there has been considerable planning to provide additional resourcing from a policing perspective, working closely with partners with numerous licensing premises across Portsmouth. To change these plans or to augment them at such short notice would place unacceptable risk to the city in that we could not guarantee to maintain a safe environment to prevent crime and disorder and the protection of the public.'