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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

Colombian president announces public holiday for World Cup quarter-final

Juan Manuel Santos is building up a serious amount of goodwill with this move.

Rodríguez and Colombia face hosts Brazil tomorrow.
Rodríguez and Colombia face hosts Brazil tomorrow.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

COLOMBIA PRESIDENT JUAN Manuel Santos has declared Friday afternoon a public holiday so workers can watch their side’s World Cup quarter-final clash with hosts Brazil.

Los Cafeteros have captured the imagination of their nation – as well as many neutrals – with the attacking play that has brought wins against Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan and Uruguay.

Playmaker James Rodríguez has swiftly developed into a worldwide star, and to reflect Colombia’s achievements, the country’s president is allowing all government employees to take tomorrow afternoon off work.

I would like to announce to all government employees that we are going to declare [Friday] afternoon as a civic holiday, to watch the Colombian soccer team and the corresponding Brazilian team,” Santos told newspaper El Espectador.

Only “special services” such as security and health will remain open for the afternoon, while the Colombian government has also encouraged public and private companies to give their workers time off.

Vice-President Angelino Garzon got in on the positive PR by asking local governments to allow their employees holiday time to watch the game, stating on Twitter, “I solicit to mayors and governors to study the possibility of declaring Friday afternoon as a public holiday, to be able to enjoy the Brazil – Colombia match.”

We wonder if President Michael D. Higgins would come up with something similar if Ireland were involved…

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