'No spare BA plane for England'


France Air Show

British Airways will not be flying the England football team to the World Cup next year, the airline has said.

The Football Association and BA reached a stalemate in negotiations after the national carrier found the trip to Brazil would cost £10 million, according to the Sun newspaper.

But British Airways said the reason why it will not be taking the squad and coaching staff to South America was because it does not have a spare aircraft available.

The Three Lions face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in the group stage of the tournament in Manaus, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte between June 14 and 24.

If they qualify from the challenging group they will play either in Rio de Janeiro - where they will be based - or Recife in the second round of 16 teams.

A spokesman for BA said: "We have not refused to carry the England team.

"Regrettably, we could not reach agreement with the FA because we will not have a spare aircraft available for the length of time the FA wanted during the busy summer period next year.

"This was not a question of a single flight or a simple return. We wish the team the best of luck and look forward to flying thousands of fans to the World Cup."