England’s semi-final against Croatia on Wednesday will not be shown on the Castle Park Big Screen

Council bosses had been investigating putting the match on the big screen, which is in place until the end of the week showing tennis from Wimbledon.

But Essex Police bosses have pulled the plug, saying the plans have been put forward with not enough notice. 

But critics have said Colchester Council left it too late to act.

Chief Inspector Shaun Kane, Colchester district commander, said: “In relation to the suggested football screening in Castle Park for Wednesday, I have provided my considerations to the chair of the Community Safety Partnership and assessed that due to the short-notice, logistics and overarching public safety requirements, not to proceed on this occasion based on our current policing plans, partnership working arrangements and safety measures prepared already covering this tournament.

Gazette: Wimbledon Men's Final on the Big Screen in Castle Park Colchester..

Tennis - the big screen attracted hundreds of people to the men's Wimbledon final last year

“This does not detract from the many outlets available across Essex showing televised and screening opportunities already in place for people to come together and enjoy the football with a enjoyable and safe atmosphere.”

Tim Young, (Lab) deputy leader for Colchester Council, denied the council had left it too late.

He said: “Let’s be very clear, this is the police’s decision that we cannot show the football. It is very disappointing but I don’t think they can blame us for short notice.


“We made the decision we would have the tennis and films on the big screen but as soon as it looked like we would continue past the group stage we put plans in place to show the semi final and final.

“We didn’t know how far England were going to progress and if the police did then they should’ve told me and I would’ve put some money on it.”

The game will clash with a meeting of Colchester Council’s cabinet and Mr Young said while they would not be watching the match, many would be following it on social media.

He said: “I will be encouraging [council leader] Mark Cory to get through the business as soon as we can.”