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Clash with Brazil to cost Aus millions

The Aussies will take on today the five-time winners and the only country to have played in all 18 World Cups. Schedule | Teams | Results | Photos | Games

india Updated: Jun 18, 2006 18:27 IST
DPA

The greatest football match in Australia's history - Sunday's clash with Brazil in Munich - will cost the country a fortune in lost production.

As many as a quarter of the 10-million workforce could stay at home to recover from a World Cup match, which for local residents kicks off at 2 a.m., a business consultant warned.

Paul Dundon, managing director of business consultancy Direct Health, said, "Some people will have booked time off but others will just sleep in."

He estimated that bleary-eyed workers taking Monday off could cost the economy 250 million Australian dollars ($187 million) in lost production.

The Australians, playing in their first World Cup since Germany last hosted it in 1974, have stirred huge interest in the tournament back home with a shock 3-1 victory over Japan in their first game.

In Brazil, they take on the five-time winners and the only country to have played in all 18 World Cups.

Employers have been urged not to yellow-card missing staff.

Labor Party's Kim Beazley, leader of the opposition in parliament, said Australia could be on the cusp of its greatest sporting moment since wresting the Americas Cup yacht-racing trophy from the US in 1983.

"These things happen very rarely," Beazley said. "I am sure that (employers) will take a very generous view of the outcome tomorrow."

Beazley, a politician keen to clamber aboard the fast-rolling football bandwagon, said an Australian victory over the Samba Kings would be worth every cent of the 250-million-dollar loss.