Visitors pose for pictures with a statue of Zabivaka, the official mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, in Kazan on June 10, 2018, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup. (AFP photo)
DUBAI, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Employers across the Middle East are set to witness a major productivity drop during June and July as a result of the 2018 football World Cup, according to a survey released by online recruitment firm GulfTalent on Sunday.
With an unprecedented participation of four Arab national soccer teams from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco along with non-Arab Iran, the survey shows that "one in four employees plan to watch the games during working hours."
GulfTalent added "the strong feeling of euphoria, combined with the fact that many matches will be played during Middle East working hours and can be watched by live streaming on smartphones, are set to severely lower the productivity."
When asked how the football World Cup would impact their work the next days, 74 percent of interviewees said they will simply cut down sleep in order to get to work on time.
A further 17 percent would go to work late, while 8 percent would take days off as annual leave, and 1 percent would call in sick.
According to the schedule, the tournament, due to be played in Russia from 14 June to 15 July, will run each day between 2 pm to 1 am United Arab Emirates (UAE) time.
FIFA 2018 host Russia will play in the opening match on the coming Thursday in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium against Saudi Arabia in Group A of the tournament.