England team fly to Qatar World Cup on Gay Pride plane
Among the criticism of the hosts is the country’s oppressive laws and treatment of LGBT+ people. The rainbow is the symbol of LGBT+ pride
England’s World Cup squad have set off for the controversial World Cup in Qatar.
The Three Lions left their St George’s Park HQ this morning and jetted out to Doha from Birmingham on a plane called ‘Rain Bow’.
Among the criticism of the hosts is the country’s oppressive laws and treatment of LGBT+ people. The rainbow is the symbol of LGBT+ pride.
England skipper Harry Kane is one of several national captains who plan to participate in the ‘OneLove’ campaign during the tournament to oppose discrimination.
A Football Association spokesperson said: “We show our support for inclusion in many ways, including wearing the OneLove Armband during the tournament.”
It is understood that the FA did not choose the plane, but is happy to fly on it. The chartered flight is with carrier Virgin Atlantic, who has no commercial relationship with the FA.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for the forthcoming World Cup in Qatar to be the catalyst for a “first step to peace” in Ukraine.
Infantino addressed world leaders at the G20 Summit in Bali.
Russian national teams and clubs have been banned from playing in FIFA competitions since the country invaded Ukraine in February.
Infantino accepted it was “naive” to believe that football can solve the world’s problems, but told the Summit: “Because football unites the world, this particular FIFA World Cup, with five billion people watching it, can be a trigger for a positive gesture, for a sign or a message of hope.
“Russia hosted the last World Cup in 2018, and Ukraine is bidding to host the World Cup in 2030.
“Maybe the current World Cup, starting in five days, can really be that positive trigger. So my plea, to all of you, is to think on a temporary ceasefire, for one month, for the duration of the FIFA World Cup, or at least the implementation of humanitarian corridors, or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as a first step to peace. You are the world leaders; you have the ability to influence the course of history.”
Infantino added: “You all know what football means to your people and to your countries; it is about passion, it is about inclusion, it is about tolerance, it is about non-discrimination, and it is about education.”
England are expected to land in Qatar at around 8pm local time and arrive at their team base at around 9pm (6pm UK).
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