Sarina Wiegman confirms England will fly business class for next year’s World Cup

Sarina Wiegman and the Lionesses will travel comfortably to next year’s highly anticipated tournament – Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

The England women’s football team will fly business class when they travel to the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, head coach Sarina Wiegman has confirmed.

In September, the Rugby Football Union came under fire after Telegraph Sport exclusively revealed the Red Roses were flying economy class on a 28-hour trip to New Zealand for the Women’s Rugby World Cup, in which they finished second. . The RFU defended this decision on the grounds that the women’s game was loss-making.

Former England women’s manager Phil Neville previously criticized the Football Association after his Lionesses team were forced to travel across the United States in economy class in 2018. Even in 2020, the Lionesses had no than a premium economy flight to the spring SheBelieves Cup in the United States. , with the team originally planning to be in business class before deciding to sit together in premium economy class when there were not enough seats available on the same flight in the higher comfort category.

But the FA’s position has obviously changed, with Wiegman confirming that business class will be used next summer in charge of the team Down Under.

“We’ll be flying business class, yes. That’s changed. It’s really good,” Wiegman said, speaking after being named Coach of the Year at the Sports Personality Awards night. year of the BBC on Wednesday.

Sarina Wiegman - David Davies/PA

Sarina Wiegman – David Davies/PA

“You want to recover very quickly [after flying to Australia] and you have to perform, so you try to travel under the most comfortable circumstances. I went to the draw [in Auckland in October] and it makes such a difference to travel business class because you can sleep, you can rest, you can just lie down.”

England have selected a tournament base in the Central Coast region of Australia, around an hour north of Sydney, for the tournament which begins on July 20, hoping to reach the final on July 20. august. The European champions – who have never won the World Cup – were drawn into Group D alongside Denmark, China and Senegal, Haiti or Chile for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The European champions’ first match (against the winner of an intercontinental play-off) will take place in Brisbane, before facing Denmark in Sydney and then Asian champions China in Adelaide.

“We will fly many times [between matches] but our distances [are] relatively acceptable if you compare it to other countries that have to fly more,” added Wiegman. “We are far from home, so we are planning to go there [to Australia] a little earlier to adapt to the jet lag, and to adapt to the climate there too.

“There is absolutely no complacency in this team. Absolutely a lot of eagerness but we have to improve our game because it is going so fast and there are so many very good countries that will be in the World Cup.”

England win the Euros - Joe Giddens/PA

England win the Euros – Joe Giddens/PA

Wiegman became the first female coach to win SPOTY’s Coach of the Year award since its inception in 1999. The former Netherlands coach is yet to lose a game in charge of the Lionesses after 15 month in this position.

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