England World Cup squad expected to fly to Qatar on plane named 'Rain Bow'

The prominent LGBTQ icon “Oscar”; a cartoon figure holding a union flag and wearing a rainbow-coloured trainer.

Credit: Virgin Atlantic
An character wearing trainers decorated in rainbows features on part of the plane flying England to Qatar. Credit: Virgin Atlantic

England’s World Cup squad are expected to fly to Qatar tomorrow on a plane called “Rain Bow”.

Part of the Virgin Atlantic fleet, the Airbus, also features a cartoon figure of a man holding a union flag and wearing rainbow-coloured trainers.

The aircraft, chartered by the FA, has a registration number GV-PRD an abbreviation of ‘Pride’.

While the FA did not ask for this specific plane, they are understood to be perfectly happy with it being used.

It will land in a country where same sex relationships are a criminal offence; a law that has meant many LGBTQ+ fans have decided not to travel.

Team England pose for a new picture

It also comes a week after Qatar FIFA World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman described homosexuality as “damage in the mind” in an interview with a German broadcaster.

England captain Harry Kane, along with captains from other national teams have already said they will wear the “OneLove” armband during the tournament in support of LGBTQ+ fans.

FIFA has yet to sanction its use, but the FA says Kane intends to wear the armband regardless. 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has recently written to all competing nations to stop talking politics and concentrate on the football ahead.

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