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England fly to World Cup on Gay Pride jet

England fly to World Cup on Gay Pride jet

The England team are flying to the World Cup on a Gay Pride jet.

Gareth Southgate's players departed for Qatar on Tuesday (15.11.22) on board 'Rain Bow', a Virgin Atlantic A350 Airbus, in a message to the host nation about intolerance.

The plane features a motif of Oscar, the airline's LGBTQ+ Union Jack-trailing flying icon, beneath the cabin.

The gesture was proposed by FA bosses to register concern about gay rights in a nation where homosexuality can still carry the death penalty.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "It's no coincidence this particular plane was chosen.

"It perfectly illustrates the concerns of the England party and those of every civilised nation taking part in the tournament."

Southgate recently suggested that England will not be afraid to speak out about human rights issues at the tournament, despite a request from FIFA for competing teams to focus on football.

The England manager said: "We have always spoken about issues we think should be talked about, particularly the ones we feel we can affect.

"Contrary to one or two observations in the last few weeks, we have spoken in the same way other nations have spoken about this tournament, the human rights challenges. We’ve been very clear on our standpoint on that.

"So, look I think we would like to focus primarily on the football. For every player, every coach and everybody travelling to a World Cup, this is a carnival of football.

"It is the thing you work for this your whole life and you don’t want that to be diminished by everything else that is going on around it currently. But we recognise we are going to be in that situation, we’ve got to accept and deal with it."

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