Perth joins World Cup party

Dozens of venues will open their doors to soccer fans in the cold, wee hours of the morning over the next month as soccer fever grips the world.

The World Cup kicks off in Brazil today, with Australia's first match of the group stage scheduled for 6am tomorrow against Chile.

A horde of passionate Chilean fans, calling themselves The Red Tide, are expected to flood the Northbridge Piazza for the high-stakes clash.

Fans will have the rare opportunity to get rowdy in a movie theatre, with Hoyts Carousel and Event Cinemas Innaloo broadcasting live games on the big screen.

The number of licensed venues showing the games has dropped more than 50 per cent since the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

About 50 venues obtained extended trading permits from the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor in 2006.

It compares with 35 in 2010 and just 21 so far this year.

Australian Hotels Association of WA chief executive Bradley Woods blamed the 11-hour time difference for the drop-off. Many games have a 3am kick-off.

For Elephant and Wheelbarrow manager Robert Trench, applying for an extended trading permit was a no-brainer.

"We're a British-themed pub," he said. "Supporting Australia and England in the World Cup was a must for us. I dare say there will be some nights when we'll lose money but you have to commit to the World Cup."

The owners of the Paddington Ale House in Mt Hawthorn are waiting on a ruling from the department after City of Vincent voted against their application on Tuesday.

Mayor John Carey and three other councillors opposed the application because of the potential effect on nearby residents.

Members of several ethnic organisations have lamented a lack of venues in Perth, including Marcio Mendes from the Brazilian Association of WA.

"We can watch the games but we can't have our Brazilian parties because no places are allowed to have live music," he said.

Dutch Club WA president Lianna Parker said the conditions of ETPs, such as hiring security guards, were too expensive.

"If it looks like we're going to make the finals, then we'll try to get the permit," she said.


The West Australian

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