Peru Gets Day Off If Team Makes World Cup

Christian Cueva of Peru competes with Deklan Wynne of the All Whites during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match on Nov. 11, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. 

Photographer: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Peru is getting ready to party like its 1981. It’s been that long since the nation qualified for soccer’s World Cup.

The South American nation faces New Zealand in a final playoff match Wednesday night in Lima, and the government has decreed Peruvians don’t have to turn up for work Thursday should the national team pull off a victory.

Anticipating all-night celebrations and copious amounts of alcohol consumed, Peru’s Labor Ministry said in a statement that public sector employees should rest Thursday while working will be optional for the private sector.

After a 0-0 draw against New Zealand in the first leg of the playoff, Peru is favored to win the second round in Lima, qualifying for the World Cup finals in Russia next year.

Peru is ranked 10th in the world by soccer’s international governing body FIFA after winning qualifying games this year against Uruguay and Bolivia at home, and after beating Ecuador and Paraguay in away games for the first time ever. Peru drew against Argentina and Colombia last month. New Zealand are ranked 122 and have competed in two World Cups.

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