The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has allowed for registered businesses to sell alcohol as early as 7am for the duration of the FIFA World Cup.
“The extension of hours applies to all licensed areas … including the patio,” the Commission announced on Friday.
The two-hour extension is in effect until Dec. 18. Licensed establishments can already serve alcohol from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“While temporary extensions are not normally provided for events taking place outside of the province (the AGCO) recognizes that the FIFA World Cup 2022 is an event of international significance for many communities in Ontario and is one of the most watched sporting events in the world,” the agency said in the statement.
The agency said that bars and restaurants are free to decline to serve alcohol at 7 a.m.
In addition, municipalities can object to the extended hours in their jurisdiction by notifying the AGCO in writing of their objection.
The World Cup kicks off Sunday. Games start as early as 5 a.m. Eastern time during the during the group stage. Canada’s first game is Wednesday at 2 p.m.