Government sees bleak times for England at Cup

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm •  Published: May 13, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Last call will come early for England at the World Cup.

That's the bleak assessment from the British government on the national team's chances in Brazil.

Drinking laws in Britain will be relaxed during the tournament so pubs can stay open beyond their usual 11 p.m. closing time when England plays late in Brazil. But the government is not convinced the pubs will need to take advantage of that exemption too often.

The legislation was debated Monday night in the House of Lords and includes a government forecast based on betting information that England won't be staying in Brazil for long.

"It says that England are certain to play in the matches of the first period of the tournament — I think that we can all agree on that," Home Office Minister John Taylor told the House of Lords, citing his department's findings. "But that there is a high probability that England will not play in later matches.

"That is a matter of opinion, and I am sure that other noble Lords will have different views on that issue. But the use of Betfair and its interactive website was the basis for that assessment."

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