Monday 18 December 2017

'Friends out if England stay in'

England fans said that they would give up even their friends to see England qualify
England fans said that they would give up even their friends to see England qualify

England fans have said that they would give up smoking, chocolate, sambuca - and even their friends - if they could guarantee qualification for the World Cup knockout stages.

Travelling supporters have already spent thousands of pounds coming to South Africa, due to the high cost of flights, accommodation and match tickets.

But fans arriving in Port Elizabeth ahead of the crunch match against Slovenia on Wednesday said they would sacrifice a lot more if they could guarantee a big win.

Jared Hugill, 40, a builder from Worthing, West Sussex, spent almost four weeks travelling to South Africa from Ethiopia, taking in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.

He said he would even give up his friend, John Howlett, to see England go through.

Asked if the trip had been worth it, he said: "Not for the England performance, but I guess that can be forgiven if England go through.

"It would be such a shame to go out with a whimper. But I'm an optimist, like a lot of England fans. If we go through as group winners before you know it we could be in the semi-final and then who knows?"

He continued: "Everyone has spent a lot of money to get here. Are the players not putting in the effort or are they just not as good as we thought? It seems like there's no passion and no heart at all. But hopefully that will change with a good result against Slovenia."

He added: "It will be interesting to see what response Rooney gets. He has been poor. He hasn't performed. And once you get on the wrong side of the fans it can take a while to get them back on side again."

Mr Howlett, 45, also from Worthing, did not look too offended to hear his friend would drop him so easily. He said he would give up his plane ticket home after the group stages for a guaranteed win.

Press Association

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in World News