The EFL has given the green light for clubs to change kick-off times this weekend ahead of England’s 2022 World Cup quarter-final against France on one condition. Clubs will be able to work around the fixture as Gareth Southgate’s side aim to reach back-to-back World Cup semi-finals in Qatar.
Supporters travelling to domestic league games on Saturday are at risk of missing the big kick-off, especially those on long-distance away trips. However, the EFL is prepared to sanction a one-off switch-up that wouldn’t see fans’ club commitments clash with the national team.
According to Sky Sports, several clubs across the Championship, League One and League Two have requested to change kick-off times from the traditional 3pm – just four hours before England vs France gets underway. And the EFL would accommodate the change if both clubs involved in a fixture agree to move it forward.
Thirty-one games are taking place across the EFL’s three divisions on Saturday, 25 of which are set to kick off at 3pm. Some would require over two-hour journeys for some fans, making it impossible to get home in time for England’s blockbuster clash with Les Bleus.
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Luton Town visit Middlesbrough, Wigan Athletic travel down to Millwall, Stoke City trek to Cardiff City and Swansea City voyage east to Norwich City – and that’s just in the Championship. So it comes as no surprise that EFL clubs requested a change be made.
England face France after topping Group B unbeaten with the best record of all 16 teams that progressed into the knockouts. Southgate’s men then cruised past Senegal 3-0 on Sunday, courtesy of goals from Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka at Al Bayt Stadium.
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The same venue will host Saturday’s game, set to kick off at 7pm UK time. England must silence Kylian Mbappe, the current best player on the planet, and defeat the reigning world champions if they are to lift their first World Cup since 1966 in the Middle East this winter. And the Three Lions’ success likely means more to EFL club supporters than Premier League big dogs.
Those who watch lower-league every week never experience the glitz and glamour of the Champions League and Premier League, so England’s international tournaments are an unmissable spectacle. Supporters will now await further information about the changes to the weekend’s fixtures.
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