Play­ers may hire se­cu­rity for fam­i­lies at World Cup

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Matt Law FOOT­BALL NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

At least one Eng­land player is con­sid­er­ing hir­ing a se­cu­rity firm to travel to Rus­sia with his fam­ily for this sum­mer’s World Cup as the squad wait to find out whether the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion will make safety ar­range­ments for wives, girl­friends and chil­dren.

Talks are sched­uled be­tween the FA and the play­ers over se­cu­rity fol­low­ing the po­lit­i­cal fall­out from the Sal­is­bury nerve agent at­tack. Rather than fear­ing for their own safety, play­ers are ea­ger to hear whether any se­cu­rity plans will be put in place for fam­i­lies and loved ones who make the jour­ney.

The FA is of­fer­ing five or 10-day travel pack­ages in St Peters­burg for the fam­i­lies and friends of play­ers, which they must fund them­selves. But the squad are yet to find out whether the FA will pro­vide ex­tra se­cu­rity for the fam­i­lies, rather than sim­ply hav­ing guards on the door of the ho­tel.

Given that wives, girl­friends, chil­dren and par­ents of play­ers are likely to be al­lowed into Eng­land’s Repino camp to see play­ers only on the day af­ter a game, they will have a num­ber of free days in St Peters­burg.

Play­ers want as­sur­ances that fam­ily mem­bers will be kept safe once they step out of their ho­tel and ex­plore the city. Those as­sur­ances have yet to be pro­vided and that has led to at least one squad mem­ber as­sess­ing the cost of tak­ing his own se­cu­rity to Rus­sia to look af­ter loved ones.

Sources have told The Sun­day Tele­graph that a trained se­cu­rity guard would cost in the re­gion of £40 an hour and would also ex­pect flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion to be paid. As­sum­ing an eight-hour day, a se­cu­rity guard would cost £3,200 for 10 days. Fac­tor in flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion and ex­penses and it would come to £7,000, a sum which the FA is un­likely to cover.

With play­ers and their agents be­gin­ning to look into the lo­gis­tics of whether to fly fam­i­lies to the World Cup, there is also some sur­prise that the FA has not yet planned for Eng­land’s progress past the group stage.

The pack­ages on offer cover the three group games, against Tu­nisia, Panama and Bel­gium, but there has been no men­tion of what will hap­pen if Eng­land reach the knock­out stages.

While a num­ber of the squad trav­elled to France for the 2016 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship, this will be the first World Cup for many of them.

In­di­vid­u­als have al­ready pri­vately ex­pressed anx­i­ety over the prospect of their fam­i­lies mak­ing the trip to Rus­sia, with some play­ers be­lieved to be mak­ing plans for wives or girl­friends to visit with­out their chil­dren.

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