Defending FT public holiday, minister says ‘greatly pressured’ by KL folks after Malaysia Cup win

A region in Malaysia recently declared a public holiday after their team won the Malaysia Cup, which is a national soccer competition.

Has this happened anywhere else in the world? I haven't found anything for sporting event wins via Google, although there was a public holiday in Venezuela in response to an elections win.

  • Looks like all the examples so far are at international level, making Malaysia the only country to have declared a public holiday for a subnational competition.
    – Allure
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 2:37
  • I do wonder what search terms people are using though. I used "unplanned public holiday" and didn't find anything.
    – Allure
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 2:38
  • My school district declared a free absence day when our team won the Super Bowl for the first time ever, does that count? Trying to find if any larger jurisdictions did. Commented Dec 7, 2021 at 19:26

5 Answers 5


In 2016, the Prime Minister of Fiji announced a public holiday, following Fiji's win in rugby sevens which gave the country its first ever gold medal at the Olympics.

Bainimarama later announced a public holiday for Aug. 22, the day after the team returns home, adding Fiji is “a tiny little dot” but the Olympic victory would put it on the map.

In 2021, the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda declared October 18 as "Flora Duffy Day" to recognise Bermuda's first Olympics gold medalist Flora Duffy's "extraordinary success at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics".

The Government announced that October 18 would be Flora Duffy Day in recognition of the triathlete’s success at Tokyo 2020 and the World Championships.

David Burt, the Premier, said: “It is a fitting tribute to have a day to recognise and honour Flora Duffy’s historic accomplishments.


It's common I guess, as pointed out in another answer.

International (Country declares holiday after victory in International sports event)

  1. Bit old. After the victory of Uruguay over Argentina in the 1930 FIFA World Cup, the next day was declared a holiday in Uruguay.

  2. Following the first victory of India in Cricket World Cup in 1983, the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi declared a public holiday.

  3. In the opening match of 2002 FIFA World Cup, Senegal defeated France following which a holiday was declared.

National (A state/region declares holiday after victory in a national sports event)

  1. Mizoram, an Indian state declared a state holiday after victory over Railways in Santosh Trophy, 2014. Kerala, another Indian state did the same.

Yes, this is quite common, especially in smaller countries. Some examples:

In 2017, the President of Panama declared a one-off public holiday after their national football team qualified for the World Cup for the first time. This was then replicated in Peru later that year, and was also the case in Trinidad & Tobago in 2005.

Colombia had a half-day public holiday in 2014 after beating Uruguay to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup, so that public employees could watch the match.

Similarly, in 2018, the Maldives declared a public holiday after their national football team’s success in the SAFF Cup.

For Olympic success - @Panda has mentioned Fiji & Bermuda’s national holidays for their Rugby Sevens team and for the triathlete Flora Duffy respectively - similarly, in Grenada, a half-day holiday was held to celebrate Kirani James’ success in the 400m in 2012. Again in Trinidad & Tobago, a public holiday was declared in 2012 after their team’s success - especially that of Keshorn Walcott’s gold medal in the men’s javelin.

Also in Malaysia, the Prime Minister announced a public holiday after the medal target was surpassed in the 29th SEA Games.

During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Saudi Arabia declared a public holiday after their football team beat Argentina in a group-stage match, and the eventual competition winners - Argentina, declared a public holiday to celebrate the victorious team - although several provinces declared that they would not recognise the decree.

  • Latvia for Ice Hockey 2023.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 1:30

Not quite "declared" but when, in 1983, an Australian boat won the America's Cup for the first time then Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, declared on TV

Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum!

To put this in context the boat race was taking place during daytime on the East coast of the USA and so Aussies watching at home would have spent a good part of the night out of bed to watch it.

Short video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8mdHO2_Zo8


During the World Cup qualifiers in 2022, the Minister of Culture Alejandro Salas declared June 13th, the date of Peru's game against Australia, as a national holiday for all public sector workers (optional for private sector). See https://rpp.pe/politica/gobierno/peru-vs-australia-gobierno-decreta-feriado-el-lunes-13-por-el-partido-del-repechaje-noticia-1411146

In the end, Peru lost 5-4 on penalties.

"The Council of Ministers has determined that it will be a holiday all day so that the population can watch the national team qualify for the World Cup in Qatar with the optimism that we are putting into it. And of course, this will motivate people to get organized, to go out to the streets to unite with the necessary care. We consider that it is an event of union, of nationalism and national identity and to which the private sector will be able to take part as an option", said the minister as he left the Government Palace.

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