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World Cup fever in Asia: Sick notes and no sleep

Despite the major time difference with host country Brazil, Asian fans and businesses alike are scheming up ways to get in on the football fever.

With matches scheduled from midnight to 6am throughout North and Southeast Asia, viewers face tough work days ahead, but some Chinese firms have already managed to capitalize on that.

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Subhendu Ghosh | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

In the days leading up to Thursday's World Cup kick off, Chinese newspaper The Global Times reported that e-commerce website Taobao was selling fake doctor's notes for up to $50.

The forms allow the buyer to fill in personal information, diagnosis and duration of sick leave. Some even come with a hospital stamp.

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For professionals who don't intend to play hooky, planning the night is a must.

"I'll go to sleep for four hours when I come home and then get up [at midnight] for the footy, crash for four hours [if there are no big games at 3am] and then watch the 6am games. As long as I get eight hours of sleep, football will not affect my work," said 35-year old Russell Curtis, who works in Singapore's banking industry.

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A poll by eFinancialCareers of professionals in Singapore, Hong Kong and China showed 26 percent of respondents intend on working all day and watching all night.

The match timings also pose a challenge for the region's bars and restaurants, which usually see greater traffic during sport tournaments.

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A supervisor at The Penny Black, a British pub located in Singapore's Boat Quay district, told CNBC that they plan to stay open for the midnight games and re-open for the 6am games.

"A lot of people are interested in watching the World Cup games, especially the England matches," he said.

According to the website of Singapore's Liquors Licensing Board (LLB), operating hours for most establishments can open at 6am but must close by 1am. Venues wishing to open at 3am and 4am for scheduled games must apply for a special license and pay a SGD$20 per hour fee.

The Bank + Bistro in Singapore's central business district plans to broadcast midnight games and will close half an hour after the matches end. However, they intend on applying for the special license for the quarter finals.

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Some Japanese companies are already seeing strong World Cup merchandise sales.

Adidas Japan K.K., the maker of jerseys for the Japanese national team, has already sold seven times as many shirts as it did during the 2010 tournament, the Japan Times reported this week.

Meanwhile, electronic retailers say that sales of newly-released '4K televisions,' which have four times the resolution of conventional high-definition TVs, are doing well, despite Japan's April sales tax hike.

- Additional reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe and Katie Holliday.

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