Last updated : 23 April 2002 By Cancer Research Press Release

Present coach Sven Goran Eriksson is on-side with Kevin Keegan, Glenn Hoddle, Terry Venables, Graham Taylor, and Bobby Robson to support Cancer Research UK's ‘World Cup Party' crusade on behalf of millions of football fans.

The match takes place on Friday 7 June in Sapporo, Japan. Because of the international time difference, it will be screened over here live on BBC1 at 12.30pm.

Bosses fear tens of thousands of employees will take a ‘Duvet Day' to cheer on Sven's men from their armchairs at home – which might result in red cards when they return to their desks.

Fortunately, Cancer Research UK has stepped in as referee by suggesting that firms allow their staff extra time to crowd around TVs at work. In return for the privilege, employees make a donation – perhaps based on the equivalent of an hour's pay – to help scientists reach their goal of finding effective treatments and cures for men's cancers.

Sven Goran Eriksson said: “The World Cup Party is a magnificent idea. The whole country will be getting behind the England team on June 7 and throughout the World Cup. The more people who are able to watch the game live, the better.

"In urging workers not to take the day off and suggesting firms make every reasonable effort to allow employees to follow the lunchtime match on TVs, Cancer Research UK has hit upon an idea where everyone stands to win. I hope that winning feeling extends to myself and the entire England squad throughout the tournament.

“I am delighted to do my bit to raise awareness of men's cancers. Because testicular cancer, in particular, threatens men of football-playing age, it is very important that people know the facts.”

To reflect the euphoria of the World Cup Party, workers are being urged to organise fun fundraising activities around the match. Perhaps everyone can come in to work dressed in red or white, take part in goal sweepstakes or hold a raffle to win the entire day off.

Bobby Robson, who had a tumour removed from his colon in 1995 and three years later had a malignant melanoma taken away from under his left eye, said: “As someone who managed an England World Cup side against Argentina in Mexico, I know how important it is for the team to know that the country is wholeheartedly behind them.

“For the privilege of watching this titanic match, the football supporters of England can donate their salaries to Cancer Research UK. Having had involvements with both the World Cup and cancer, I thank everyone who supports this campaign from the bottom of my heart.”

Terry Venables said: “England have the ability to beat Argentina and with the appropriate resources we can give ourselves the best possible chance of beating cancer. I am wholly behind this initiative and if employers are prepared to participate, then the very least we can do is donate the relevant portion of our wages to a great cause.

Kevin Keegan said: "England have every opportunity to go all the way in this World Cup - just as Cancer Research UK has a real long-term chance of achieving a cure for cancer.

Hopefully, this initiative will help ensure that record numbers of viewers watch the game on June 7. By donating part of their wages to the charity, they will be funding continuing work by some of the world's best scientists."

Glenn Hoddle said: “It is a fantastic idea. I hope that as many people as possible will get involved and ensure the campaign is a great success."

Graham Taylor said: “This is a great idea. Anything that raises awareness – and hopefully lots of money for such a worthy cause - should be supported as much as our football team.“

Cancer Research UK, Britain's leading charity, has designated June as Men's Cancer Month, focusing particular attention on prostate and testicular cancer. Men's Cancer Month is supported by the FA, the PFA and the England team.

In the UK, prostate cancer is the second commonest cancer in men after lung cancer. One in 14 men will develop it in their lifetime and there are over 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year. The survival rate has improved significantly and currently stands at around 49 per cent.

Testicular cancer, which mainly affects younger men, is less common. Although there are only around 1,700 new cases a year, incidence rates have increased by over 20 per cent over the past 10 years. Testicular cancer responds particularly well to treatment and over 9 in 10 patients are cured.

Current England squad members Robbie Fowler, Rio Ferdinand, Danny Mills and Nigel Martyn said: “The World Cup Party is a great way for fans to give us and our England team mates support for this important match and, at the same time, raise money for research into cancers that affect men.”

Sir Paul Nurse, Cancer Research UK Interim Chief Executive, said: “The World Cup Party is an innovative way to unite the country behind the England team and simultaneously aid research into men's cancers.

“Men's cancers have, in the past, been seen as taboo subjects – not the sort of thing to discuss over a beer in the pub. Thankfully, that is beginning to change and men are increasingly becoming aware of the issues.

“As the largest volunteer-supported cancer research organisation in the world, with a dedicated team of 3,000 scientists and an annual scientific spend of more than £130 million, Cancer Research UK is committed to improving treatments for cancer patients.”

To get onside with the World Cup Party and receive an information pack, ring the national hotline on 0870 160 2040 or log onto