UPDATE midday 1.4.2021: This is an April Fool’s story.
The England football team will wear a turquoise away kit at the Qatar World Cup — should they qualify — in 2022.
Its part of a new five-year deal with the restaurant delivery juggernaut Deliveroo, which has sponsored the Football Association’s St George’s Park complex and England’s training kit sleeves since the autumn of 2019.
Fresh off the back of three wins in the opening three games of World Cup qualifying, the new-look England side will wear turquoise for the first time in its long history, a sign of the power of sponsorship in the 21 century. Typically England have worn blue, navy, red as the change or away colours to the white home shirt.
Deliveroo, whose kangaroo mascot has appeared on England’s training shirt sleeves for the past two years, hopes to deepen its partnership with the national football team and the FA Cup, which it has sponsored for the past two seasons.
The announcement of the new deal comes as the delivery juggernaut went public for the first time, floating on the London Stock Exchange yesterday, 31 March. Unlike England’s recent performances, it was an expensive flop, with investors balking at a high share price and the company’s workers’ rights record.
Critics have pointed to the symmetry in worker exploitation between the delivery juggernaut and the conditions of migrant worker exploitation in Qatar. One rider told Eater London. “It’s fitting that England will wear the brand of exploited workers at the ‘exploited worker World Cup.’” Norway, the Netherlands, and Germany wore t-shirts in protest during this week’s round of World Cup qualifying matches.
Deliveroo founder Will Shu said he was delighted that England will wear the colours of the company he founded in 2013. Shu, a Derby County fan, also revealed that Derby County manager and England’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney will front a campaign set to launch next summer (as the tournament for the first time will take place in the winter.) It’s been dubbed “project Deliverooney.”
“Like Wayne Rooney did for club and country for so many years, Deliveroo delivers,” Shu said. “We hope that this partnership will help England to victory at the 2022 World Cup. And whether it’s football, burgers, or your groceries...it’s coming home.”