England fans set to be paid to attend the World Cup as 'spies'
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A group of up to 40 fans from England are being paid to be 'spies' during the World Cup in Qatar.
With the tournament set to kick off in under three weeks, preparations for one of the world's biggest sporting events is well underway.
Fans have already been warned over their potential behaviour when attending games in the middle east, with rules around alcohol, drugs and even their attire been raised profusely.
But sources have confirmed that some fans from our country, and other countries, are being tasked with promoting positive messages about attending the World Cup and help to keep the experience above board, according to the many rules laid out for fans who are heading to Qatar.
The crazy part is they will all receive a free journey and accommodation, as well as spend for undertaking this strange task.
According to The Times, a group of 40 England fans are being paid by Qatar to attend the World Cup, with instructions to deliver positive messages about the experience, sing certain songs when requested and report critical social media posts.
Sources have confirmed that this group will receive free flights and apartment accommodation, £60 a day in spending money loaded on to a Visa card and complimentary tickets after signing a “code of conduct”.
Essentially, everything is paid for as long as they can stick to the guidelines bestowed onto them.
One example of their tasks is that they've all been given tickets to the opening ceremony and have been told to sing at the appropriate times for the television cameras.
A document has been released to leaders of the group of fans that has instructed them on their behaviour during the ceremony: "In celebration of the fans around the world, over the period of five minutes, fan chants from each nation will be played and you will be expected to stand up, sing the song/chant, wave your flags and represent your country."
It's claimed that written in bold is "Be ready in your shirt, flags and scarves to cheer and shout" - if it sounds unconventional, then that's because it is.
The whole idea has been refused and not endorsed by the FA or by many of the other international governing bodies.
Reaction from fans around the world have been extremely negative towards the scheme - Ronan Evain, the executive director of Football Supporters Europe, claimed "At best they're volunteers for the World Cup and at worst they're a mouthpiece for the supreme committee."
A France fan had told the French newspaper Le Parisien that "Despite the appetising side of the dish, I preferred to stay true to my values."
The reveal of this information is certainly something out of the ordinary, as fans are being ordered to act a certain way, to appease those in power, all for a free trip.
There's certainly a conversation to be had around this, with the whole idea being in a morally grey area for sure.