Home » World News » England fan sacked for pulling sickie to go to Wembley as boss sees her in crowd
England fan sacked for pulling sickie to go to Wembley as boss sees her in crowd
July 9, 2021
A woman who pulled a sickie to watch England's Euros semi-final has been sacked after a TV camera zoomed in on her celebrating Three Lions' equaliser against Denmark.
Nina Farooqi's boss spotted her as images of her and a friend cheering the Three Lions on during their 2-1 win at Wembley were beamed across the world.
The 37-year-old digital content producer had made an excuse to dodge work in Yorkshire after her friend offered her a last-minute ticket to the historic night.
She thought it would be unlikely she would be spotted in a crowd of over 60,000.
But footie-loving Nina, from Ilkley, near Bradford, was sitting behind the goal and even appeared on TV presenter Stacey Dooley's Instagram story.
When catching the 6am train back up north the next morning, she said her boss phoned her to tell her not to bother coming in.
She said there was "no way" she'd turn the opportunity down after her friend won the tickets in a work raffle, adding: "This hasn't come around since 1996, I vividly remember crying on my mum's sofa when Gareth Southgate missed his penalty, and the football fan in me just couldn't do it. Football is my life."
Nina told The Daily Telegraph: "They said they'd seen I'd been at the game, and I was honest about why I did it. But I didn't get any sympathy at all and they said that's it. That's their call and the consequence of what I did.
"There is a bit of regret, no one wants to get fired, but then also I would have hated the regret of missing out. I'd do it all over again."
Nina said her office job funded her football life, which sees her freelance as a photographer and video producer in the men's club game and across the Women's Super League.
She said she decided to call in sick thinking she wouldn't get the day off as the office was short-staffed on Wednesday.
Nina realised her game was up when she saw the images of her on her phone at half time with even her friends in Australia and US getting in touch to say they'd spotted her.
She said: "We were all over the news, my face was on every television screen across the world.
"It's mixed emotions: we're through to the final, I'm still on that high, but I've also lost my job."
Gareth Southgate's heroes on Wednesday qualified for their major tournament finals in 55 years.
Boris Johnson is said to be "ready" to give Britain a bank holiday if they beat Italy at Wembley on Sunday.
Nina's LinkedIn page suggests she works a variety of freelance jobs and says that she has lost her office job.
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It appears to be as a Digital Content Co-ordinator at Leeds decking and and cladding firm Composite Prime.
An entry for Nina on the firm's website reads: "I come from a social media and content creation background, working across various sectors. I live on the internet, keeping up with the latest trends and memes.
"When I'm not working or hanging out with my cats Crumbles and Licorice, you'll find me photographing women's football, which has taken me all over Europe; to Champions League finals and the World Cup.
"I also love going to gigs and festivals when I can, knitting and gaming."