Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared Friday afternoon a public holiday for all government employees because of the Colombia vs. Brazil World Cup soccer match.
In anticipation of the quarterfinal match of the World Cup, starting at 3:00 in the afternoon local time, Santos declared that all public functionaries would be allowed to take the afternoon off starting at 1:00, reports national radio RCN.
“I would like to announce to all government employees that we are going to declare the afternoon [of the Colombia vs. Brazil match] as a civic holiday, to watch the Colombian soccer team and the corresponding Brazilian team,” according to national newspaper El Espectador.
The President added that only “special services” such as security and health would remain active, while others would be granted the day off.
The Colombian President also stated his encouragement of individual municipalities and cities to declare a public holiday, allowing local government functionaries to enjoy the game as well. Public and private entities in the South American country are encouraged, but not obligated, to give their workers the afternoon off.
The Colombian Vice-President Angelino Garzon also encouraged local governments to allow their employees the day off stating via Twitter, “I solicit to mayors and governors to study the possibility of declaring Friday afternoon as a public holiday, to be able to enjoy the Brazil Colombia match.”
Solicito a Alcaldes y Gobernadores estudiar posibilidad decretar tarde viernes 4 de julio como cívica fin gozar partido Brasil Colombia.
— Angelino Garzón (@Angelino_Garzon) July 2, 2014