WORLD CUP 2002: Bar Umbro aims to attract the capital's top slackers

You've got to hand it to Umbro. The Team England kit sponsor is going to extraordinary lengths and into non-core areas to connect with English football fans. The apparel brand is unveiling a purpose-designed Bar Umbro in London for the World Cup.

Supporters will be able to visit the venue to catch all of the games live, plus highlights shows, on high-tech screens supplied by Korean electronics giant Samsung. Sony PlayStation2 and Microsoft Xbox consoles will also be installed - featuring Konami football game ISS2.

The only problem with this ground-breaking electronic entertainment fest of English, Japanese and Korean brands is that most of the World Cup action takes place while Londoners are at work.

In an ingenious piece of customer relationship mischief, Umbro.com is collating a top ten list of excuses for bunking off work. With such gems as 'I will be late for work today because I have to attend mother's funeral.

Should be in by afternoon, providing her service doesn't go into extra time' and 'I will be late in for work today as I have to pick my uncle up from the train station. He has two bags but only one arm', Bar Umbro should be guaranteed a regular stream of slackers.

We weren't so convinced by the excuse 'I will not be in work today as Michael Owen is a god, I worship that god and it would be wrong to anger the god by not watching him preach to his disciples on TV'. If you're going to bunk off, then at least be dishonest about it.

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