San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

World Cup Might Paralyze Country

Even if you want to do something this morning besides watch Costa Rica go up against Germany in the opening match of the 2006 World Cup – the biggest soccer tournament ever, held every four years – you won’t have many options.

In respect for the burning passion for soccer that unites nearly the entire country, the government has granted all public employees (including those at state banks) the first half of the day off to watch the game – beginning at 10 a.m. Costa Rica time – and many private businesses are also giving their employees time off to watch Costa Rica’s big moment (TT, June 2).

However, bars do not open until 11 a.m. by law, so fans must look elsewhere to congregate and cheer on the national team, La Selección Nacional or La Sele for short.


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