A WIDNES restaurant has declared itself a World Cup free zone.

Pesto in Birchfield Road is offering customers and staff refuge from the month-long tournament.

General manager Melanie Mooney said: “With our World Cup free zone in mind we’re the perfect place for anyone else who wants to get out of the football frenzy and escape the World Cup madness.”

The company decided to stay neutral after discovering it would have to support 29 out of the 32 participating teams as its 500 employees come from so many different countries.

Co-owner of Pesto, and England fan, Neil Gatt said: “As a cosmopolitan company with employees from tens of different countries worldwide, we knew it would be difficult for us to find a clear favourite home-team but we didn’t think it would be this hard.

“The only teams there are no Pesto members getting behind are Japan, South Korea and the Ivory Coast so, in the interest of fairness, we are making sure our restaurants are completely impartial by transforming them all into No World-Cup Zones for the duration of the contest.”