Love it or hate it, it’s that time again. Yes for four weeks in June and July football’s coming home with a vengeance with the kick-off of the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
Between June 11 and July 11 all talk will be about goals, penalties, the offside rule and fitness at altitude.
If you love it, you’re in for a real treat. If you hate it, all is not lost. Follow our plan and whatever happens you’ll be in for a good time….
First, let’s get to grips with the full scope and scale of the feast of football coming to a TV screen near you. Total time football played will be 5,670 minutes, which equates to 95 hours or almost four full days of play.
So here’s what to do if football for you is a passion or a turn-off…
Plan your viewing
Both ITV and the BBC will be screening matches, which is good news for terrestrial viewers. Check out the Daily Telegraph’s complete TV listings. here
There’s an App for that
The VISA match planner is a must-download for any football fans. It allows you to organise the matches you want to see, connect with friends and schedule match reminders. Find it here.
Stock the fridge
Make sure you have plenty of beer, snacks and fantastic TV dinners – and some Red Bull, just in case the later games go into extra time or, worse, penalties.
Hopefully you can get your fridge looking a bit fuller – and healthier – than the one on the right.
Waitrose has some great offers and delivery is free.
Check out the big screen
Find out if any local pubs or cinemas are screening England matches. It’s always much more fun watching when you can hear the roar of the crowd. If you’re looking for a pub which shows matches check out Sports Pubs
Keep your football loathing partner happy
Not everyone loves football, so to ensure you stay together plan some treats for your football loathing partner. This isn’t entirely selfless – if you send her off for a spa break or him on a walking trip then you’ll have the TV to yourself.
It’s also a well-known fact that football widows like to be sent flowers – just make sure when you ring Interflora the flowers you ask for are not in your team colours! So perhaps send pink roses as opposed to red! Take a look at all that’s new from Interflora here.
After all, while not everyone loves football it’s difficult to find anyone who doesn’t adore flowers!
Buy a big screen TV
Lots of companies are getting excited about the world cup and are offering great deals on TVs. Viking Direct is offering money back to anyone who buys a TV for the World Cup if England win. SKY are offering discounts on HD boxes and many companies are offering discountvouchers.
Got the t-shirt? Now buy the album
What would football be without an anthem? Check out iTunes for a selection of World Cup songs. Who can fail to be moved by Three Lions? It has even football haters singing along. Check out iTunes for songs inspired by the beautiful game.
Leave the country
Extreme, I know, but frankly if you hate football it will be the only way to avoid it. Of course, you’ll need to find a country that isn’t playing in the World Cup, but we hear Ireland is jolly nice at this time of year and – thanks to France’s Thierry Henry – they won’t be in South Africa. Have a look on Last Minute for some great deals.
Plan your shopping trips when there’s an England game on. The roads will be quiet, you’re guaranteed a parking space and the shop assistants will be so thrilled to see a customer, that you’ll get five star service all the way. If you fancy updating your look, get inspired by Vogue.
De-clutter your house (quietly)
It’s a well-known fact that clutter leads to stress. Let’s face it, when England matches are on, you’re not going to get many invitations. So why not put the time to good use and get rid of all that unwanted junk?Plus there’s the added advantage that there will be no queues at your local recycling centre while the match is on. For help take a look at www.clutter.co.uk
Cook up a storm
If your partner’s going to be glued to the TV when there’s an England match on, why not show them how much you love them by cooking up a traditional dish of the team England are playing? June 12 will be pretty easy as England are playing the US – the perfect excuse for great homemade burgers, fries and shakes.
June 18 sees the match between England and Algeria, so put a cous cous themed supper on the menu. Check out Delia online for some great ideas.
And on June 23, it’s Slovenia where Štruklji – rolled dumplings made of cottage cheese – is a typical dish. Very helpfully, The New York Times has a great recipe here.
Take a walk
When talking about The National Trust, the line ‘For ever, for everyone’ is often used. And, of course, everyone includes those who hate football. So, while there’s a big match on, why not visit your local National Trust house.
All the houses have lovely grounds and gardens to walk in and it’s impossible not to get drawn into the history of the property and the lives of those who lived there. Plus, many National Trust properties have great tea rooms and the most delicious cakes! To find your local house visit The National Trust website
Avoid the pub
Obvious, I know, but this is one time of year when your local won’t be a refuge. Instead look at the great deals restaurants will be offering as they desperately try to lure punters away from the TV. Square Meal has lots of great restaurants listed, so why not dine in style instead?
Set up a football swear box
Ensure everyone who enters your house agrees to put a pound in the swear box every time they mention anything to do with football. It won’t stop the chatter but should buy a pretty decent bottle of wine, perhaps even a case. Take a look at The Money Box for great ideas on where to store the pennies.
Make your home a refuge
Offer sanctuary to football haters. Invite friends and friends of friends who are anti-football to a gathering. Promise there will be no football talk and bill it as a cross between a party and group therapy for those who lack the soccer gene. If it’s late at night and you’re looking for like-minded people you can always try the Facebook Group I Hate Football.
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