England’s semi-final against Croatia tomorrow 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 has pulled the plug, saying they not enough warning had been given.

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.

“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.”

The Gazette has consistently questioned council bosses on whether the World Cup could be shown on the big screen. 

As long ago as October, the move was all-but ruled out

In March, former council leader Paul Smith told the a meeting of the cabinet there were too many worries over antisocial behavior. 

And in May, it was confirmed there were no plans to show any of the matches and fans were encouraged to make use of the town's pubs (as long as they behaved responsibly!).