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Industry hit by footie fever

SITES UP and down the country are bracing themselves for more World Cup fever following England's nail-biting victory over Argentina last week.

And following Ireland's qualification for the second round, after a 3-0 victory over Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, firms can expect more of the same - provided England beat Nigeria which was due to be played yesterday (Wednesday).

Last Friday's titanic match between England and Argentina saw contractors across the country down tools to watch the lunchtime game which England won 1-0, thanks to a David Beckham first-half penalty.

In London, Shepherd workers from secretaries through to construction managers on an office refurbishment project in New Oxford Street for London and Regional Properties, packed a room given over to coverage of the game (top right). They were also supplied with low-alcohol Kaliber beer.

One site worker said: 'The atmosphere was absolutely brilliant. Everyone was going mad when we scored. It's fantastic to beat the Argies.'

Elsewhere, 100 contractors put rivalries aside to celebrate the famous win at an event in Manchester organised by recruitment firm Vital Resources.

Among those cheering on Sven Goran Eriksson's team were ABB, Balfour Kilpatrick, Emcor Drake & Scull, Laing and Skanska.

If England make it to the second round, they are due to play their next game on Saturday or Sunday.