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Maradona: FIFA in anarchy under Blatter

FIFA World Cup
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Report predicts early England exit

A British government report examining the arguments for allowing pubs to remain open later during the World Cup has suggested that England are likely to exit the tournament early.

Hodgson must be brave and focus on the future instead of this summer's World Cup.
The report sees little joy for Roy Hodgson and England.

With some matches kicking off at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. BST, officials had suggested that pubs could be allowed to stay open for longer to allow people to watch the action.

But the Home Office report -- based on the odds offered by an online betting exchange -- suggested Roy Hodgson's side had just over a 50 percent chance of emerging from a group that pits them against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

"While England are certain to be playing in the matches in the first period, there is a high probability that they will not be playing in the later matches," the document said.

"England have a 54 percent probability of progressing past the group stage and an 11 percent probability of progressing past the quarterfinals."

A Home Office spokeswoman said the government was "100 percent behind the England football team, and we wish the players every success in the World Cup."

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