In its four previous trips to the World Cup, Colombia had never advanced past the Round of 16, which the team finally accomplished on Saturday when it defeated Uruguay 2-0. Colombia will get an opportunity to keep its historic run going on Friday when it faces Brazil.
It's been a fantastic tournament so far for James Rodriguez and his countrymen, so to appease government workers on Friday with the quarterfinal match taking place at 4 p.m. ET, Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, is giving state employees the afternoon off to watch.
Calling it a "civic day," Santos said that government workers can take off at 1 p.m. local time. The president plans to fly to the match in Fortelaza and come home "following Colombia's victory," reports the BBC.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
The move is also aiming to prevent mass celebrations that could lead to riots, since the celebrations for Colombia’s first World Cup win against Greece on June 14th resulted in at least 10 people dead and triggered government reactions across the country, ranging from curfews for minors to alcohol prohibition.
"The civic day starts at 1 p.m. and I tell you already you need to celebrate calmly and in peace," said Santos.
And it likely won't only be government workers getting a head start on their weekends. Vice President Angelino Garzon has called on local goverment offices to let their employees go early. Health and safety workers, however, sorry, you'll have to find a way to follow the match since you won't be allowed to leave.
A win for Colombia and they would face either France or Germany in the semifinal next Tuesday.
More World Cup coverage on Yahoo Sports:
- Sports & Recreation
- Juan Manuel Santos