Boxing kingpin Eddie Hearn has announced a world title fight night in Leeds will take a brief pause so fans can watch England’s epic World Cup quarter final clash against France.
Gareth Southgate’s side booked a spot in the next stage of the World Cup with a 3-0 victory over Senegal, while France beat Poland 3-1 as the defending champs look to go back-to-back.
Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
It sets up what could be one of the games of the tournament, with both nations having extremely high expectations for Qatar.
There will undoubtedly be plenty of eyeballs watching the game in England, but there could have been less due to a major boxing card in Leeds.
English star Josh Warrington’s IBF world featherweight title fight against Alberto Lopez headlines the card on December 11 (AEDT) at the First Direct Arena.
Also fighting on the card is an all-Aussie world title fight, with Ebanie Bridges putting her IBF female bantamweight title on the line against Shannon O’Connell.
England send ominous warning with win | 01:26
‘Walk in the park’: England blow away African giants as epic clash against champs awaits
Socceroo who didn’t play a minute at WC pulls off Messi heist amid Argentinian legend’s classy act
Inside Roos star’s Messi stoush … and why he didn’t go down for our greatest goal that never was
But Hearn, a passionate football fan himself, made a special announcement to ensure the fight fans wouldn’t miss a second of the action in Qatar.
The Matchroom boss confirmed the boxing would run for five-and-a-half hours before stopping to show the game live in the arena.
The boxing would resume after the game, with Bridges and O’Connell’s Aussie scrap set to be one of those.
It promises to be a special and rowdy atmosphere, as several fans expressed their excitement for the day ahead.
One wrote: “To be fair this will be banging.”
Another said: “Did wonder how this would play out. Fair play and well done to all involved. What an atmosphere that will be.”
One fan remarked: “This will be the drunkest crowd in history.”
Socceroos win over hearts of Aussie fan | 03:54
WENGER SLAMS TEAMS FOCUSED ON ‘POLITICAL DEMONSTRATIONS
Arsene Wenger said on Sunday that teams who focused on football rather than “political demonstrations” fared better in the opening round at the World Cup.
The former Arsenal manager is now working for FIFA as its head of global football development and made the remark unprompted during a press conference looking at trends during the now-concluded group stage in Qatar.
“When you go to a World Cup you know you must not lose the first game,” said the 73-year-old, saying teams with World Cup experience such as holders France won their opening matches.
Wenger then added: “And the teams as well who were mentally ready, who had the mindset to focus on the competition and not on political demonstrations.”
Germany’s players covered their mouths for the team photo before their opening match against Japan in protest at FIFA’s refusal to allow the captains of seven European sides to wear rainbow-themed armbands.
The four-time champions lost the game 2-1 and eventually exited in the group stages.
This World Cup has been overshadowed by several controversies both on and off the pitch, especially when it comes to gay rights.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.
Germany captain Manuel Neuer was among the skippers who had planned to wear rainbow-themed armbands to promote diversity, but abandoned the initiative after FIFA threatened their teams with sporting sanctions.
Young Socceroo has bright future | 02:43
‘A LITTLE TASTE OF SUNDAY LEAGUE’: STAR’S EMBARRASSING JEWELLERY BLUNDER
France boss Didier Deschamps was left baffled after defender Jules Kounde played almost the entire first half against Poland with a gold necklace on.
According to the IFAB’s Laws of the Game, “all items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed”.
However, Kounde — who did not wear the necklace in France’s previous games but wears it during training sessions — forgot to take it off before the Round of 16 clash.
It took 41 minutes for an official to notice Kounde’s breach of the jewellery rule, with linesman Tulio Moreno the man who spotted the infraction.
Speaking on the BBC’s broadcast, Vicki Sparks described Kounde’s incident as “a little taste of Sunday league at home”.
But Deschamps was less jovial in his review of the defender’s brain fade.
“He [Kounde] has no right,” Deschamps said.
“I don’t know what he has on his chain, I know that Jules has a bit of a superstition, he has it in training. I don’t know the meaning.
“I even told him, ‘You’re lucky you’re not in front of me, or else.’
“The referee had told us that as soon as there was a stoppage in play … players are not allowed to wear a bracelet or a necklace. They’re not going to start wearing watches or sunglasses either.
“It’s not allowed. I thought he was taking it off but apparently that wasn’t the case.”