England fans have been telling anyone who’ll listen that “it’s coming home” this summer, and now they hope to be staying home the day after the Euro 2020 final after more than 300,000 people signed an online petition on the UK Parliament’s official website calling for a national holiday if the Three Lions beat Italy on Sunday (LIVE on ESPN/ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET in the U.S.).
Gareth Southgate’s side reached the national team’s first major final in over half a century when they beat Denmark 2-1 after extra time in Wednesday’s second semifinal at Wembley, and they’ll be back at their home stadium again for the final on July 11.
With English football’s biggest match since they won the World Cup final in 1966 (also at Wembley) falling on a school night, fans people are campaigning to have the following Monday off work should England emerge victorious.
A petition entitled “Give the UK a Bank Holiday on Monday July 12th if England win Euro 2020” has been lodged on the UK Parliament’s website, positing that it would be “beneficial and sensible” for those concerned to give the entire nation the day off should Harry Kane & Co. beat the Azzurri — something they have never done in four previous meetings at tournaments.
“England may be playing a European Championship Final at 8pm on Sunday 11th July,” reads the pitch, posted by Lee Jones. “It would be beneficial and sensible to give the country the day off the next day if England win, in the form of an extra Bank Holiday Monday.
“Sunday 8pm is a difficult time for families to plan to be together for the event – knowing we have an additional day off the next day would significantly help this. Furthermore, a historic win should be celebrated. It would be expected for the winning team to parade the trophy, and a Bank Holiday would be a perfect time to do this.
“Also, English people would naturally want to continue to enjoy the win, giving the retail and leisure industry a much-needed opportunity to make up lost revenues.”
The UK Parliament’s own rules state that any petition submitted via its website has to be considered for debate in Parliament should the number of signatures pass 100,000. The bank holiday petition passed that mark at 1:21 p.m. BST on Thursday, the day after England’s semifinal victory, and that total was doubled less than four hours later. By 8 a.m. BST on Friday morning, there were more than 300,000 signatures.
Another petition launched in the wake of Wednesday’s match on the Change.org website, calling for the game to be replayed because of the way in which England’s Raheem Sterling won the penalty from which Kane scored the winning goal, has not received anywhere near as many signatures.
That crowd last night were a dream. 16 months of no real fan presence in football stadiums and one huge enormous outpouring of emotion over 120 mins brings back why football is special . A privilege to be inside Wembley . Helped of course by a having brilliant team to watch! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/6Z3TMHkumO
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) July 8, 2021
One prominent voice who would likely support the idea is former England international Gary Neville, who called for the Monday in question to be a day of celebration.
“For the next few days those lads [the England team] have got to focus, but we don’t have to,” the former Manchester United captain-turned-TV analyst said in the wake of the victory over Denmark. “This country is absolutely bouncing. National holiday, enjoy yourselves.”
The same thing happened two years ago when England reached the latter stages of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. More than 200,000 fans signed a petition calling for the Monday after the final to be converted into a national bank holiday should Southgate’s team go on to win.