England sponsor Lucozade pulls branding from Qatar World Cup and bans bottles

Drink powerhouse Lucozade have pulled all its branding from the World Cup in a sensational Qatar snub.

Lucozade have confirmed their logo won't be visible at matches, in training or at press conferences due to Qatar's strict laws. England stars will be able to have the sports drink, but it will come in unbranded bottles with no logo.

The brand said: "Lucozade is a proud long-term sponsor of the England team but we are not an official Fifa World Cup partner. We continue to support all England teams, who celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion.

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"While the England team have access to our drinks for hydration purposes we will not have a brand presence at press conferences, training sessions or on pitches."

England are already in Qatar, having jetted to the Middle East on Monday – one week before their opening clash with Iran. The Three Lions arrived in Gulf State on Virgin Atlantic's Gay Pride plane, dubbed the 'Rain Bow'.

Southgate said in Qatar: "We’re very strong on inclusivity. We understand the challenges that this tournament brings…the human rights challenges. We’ve always spoken about issues we think should be talked about, particularly ones we feel we can affect."

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On Friday, two days before the World Cup kicks off, Qatar pulled a u-turn on its decision to allow alcohol in stadiums.

Only the non-alcoholic Bud Zero will be allowed at the eight match venues in Qatar – and fans will have to the Doha city centre's official Fan Festival if they want an alcoholic drink. However, a Budweiser will cost almost £12 for 500ml.

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