A Facebook post claiming that all Argentinians are to be given a 40-day public holiday to enable them to watch the World Cup is false.
The post says: “Argentina Government has decided to give holiday to entire nation between November 15 to December 25 for FIFA World Cup 2022. This was [sic] never happened before in the history of Argentina. This World Cup is going to be something special.”
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is taking place in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December. Neither the Argentinian government nor any mainstream Argentinian news outlets have announced such a holiday.
Although there is a precedent for the Argentine government to allow time off to watch major sporting events, this was for a much shorter period than the post suggests.
According to reports in the New York Times, during the 1978 World Cup the country granted a national half-day holiday for public offices, schools and most private businesses on the day of the opening game. Workers were also allowed to leave early for the first game involving Argentina which had a 7.15pm kickoff.
However, the tournament was being hosted by Argentina that year and they were the favourites to win.
The website of the Argentine government makes no mention of any such holiday during the tournament and we can find no reference in any other media outlet.
The Argentine Embassy in London told us such a development was highly improbable and that, were it true, it would have received notification.
Image courtesy of Angelica Reyes