Players may hire security for families at World Cup
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.