World Cup entertainment in Leeds is allocated early kick-off time

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Get here early – that’s the message to football fans hoping to join the World Cup party in Leeds city centre this week.

Thousands of supporters are expected to flock to Millennium Square for a screening of England’s do-or-die clash against Uruguay, which kicks off at 8pm on Thursday.

And today council bosses warned that admission will be on a strictly first-come-first-served basis until the site’s 5,000 capacity is reached.

Early bird arrivals will have plenty to keep themselves occupied, however, with the council laying on a programme of entertainment worthy of tournament host country Brazil.

The Millennium Square viewing arena’s gates will open at 4.45pm and a screening of the day’s first game, Colombia against Ivory Coast, will follow at 5pm.

Fans will also be treated to music by DJ Lubi and performances from South American dancers.

A Brazilian barbecue will be on offer, along with other food options and a bar.

Similar pre-match entertainment will be provided for a screening of England’s third group game, against Costa Rica next Tuesday.

Coun Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said: “Excitement for the World Cup is now at fever pitch, and we are looking forward to bringing a taste of Brazil to England’s next two group matches that will be screened live on Millennium Square’s big screen.

“Brazilian-themed entertainment is also set to be provided in advance of each game, and we hope this will add to the carnival atmosphere as we bite our nails watching Roy Hodgson’s men attempt to qualify from their group.

“Our big screen events have in the past proved to be extremely popular, and we would ask people to arrive early to avoid disappointment.”

England’s matches were shown on a temporary screen in Millennium Square during the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004.

A permanent screen in front of the site’s Carriageworks arts complex was switched on for the first time in late 2005.

England’s 2014 World Cup opener against Italy on Saturday was not shown due to its late kick-off time.

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