Doha Airport, Qatar: As part of the valuable PR trip, to help to jump-start England's shambolic 2018 World Cup bid campaign, the English FA scored another own-goal.
The hugely influential president of the Qatar FA, Mohammed Bin Hammam, who is a member of the 24-strong Fifa Executive Committee that votes in December 2010 on who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, will have taken note of England Football Team's threat to withdraw from the friendly match with Brazil over Prawn Cocktail Crisps.
The FA dragged the England's players on a 6,500 mile, 14-hour, round trip to Arabia in the middle of a hectic fixture list, to play an exhibition match against Brazil's reserves.
ENGLAND threatened to withdraw the prestigious friendly with Brazil in Qatar after being refused permission to land at the special terminal at Doha Airport reserved for the Interior Minister. It is only at this special terminal where the prawn cocktail crisps can be eaten, as Qatar is an alcohol free zone.
Although Frank Lampard flew in with the squad, the Chelsea midfielder promptly returned home, having suffered a recurrence of an old thigh problem during training. Capello dismissed claims that the plane, and particularly the seats, were to blame for Lampard's injury. This column can exclusively reveal that Frank Lampard sustained the injury on the plane when he kicked out in rage at not being able to have prawn cocktail crisps in the special terminal.
The demand that Capello's team land at the special terminal set aside for the exclusive use of the oil-rich peninsula's top dignitaries, where it is known that prawn cocktail crisps are served on gold plates, irritated the locals. The Qataris are known to have been surprised by England's threat that their participation in the friendly would be in doubt unless they got their way over prawn cocktail crisps, according to sources.
England eventually backed down when the Qataris pointed out that England might become international pariahs if they had boycotted a friendly against the five-times world champions, similar to what the FA had afforded to their former England Manager, Don Revie.
In the late 70s English football declared Don Revie, Public Enemy Number One, due to his 'crime' of swapping his job as national coach for a cushy pay-day in the Arabian sun. An outraged FA claimed he had brought the game into disrepute and banned him from football for ten years. Although Don Revie got it over-turned, Revie's Arabian flight effectively left him a leper, and it is claimed, helped push him towards an early grave.
After discussions, England jetted in on Wednesday, using the main overseas VIP channel at arrivals. Like Brazil. The England Football Team ate cheese and onion crisps in the VIP channel and humble pie instead!!