England football fan sacked after boss spots her at Euro 2020 semi-final

Nina Farooqi had called in sick so that she could attend the big match

England football fan Nina Farooqi has lost her job after phoning in sick to go to Wembley, as her employer spotted her on TV at the game.

The digital content producer had been at Wembley in London watching England's semi-final win over Denmark, after a friend offered her a ticket at the last minute.

She was pictured screaming and jumping in the air, with an England flag wrapped around her shoulders, after the team scored.

The image went viral and her employer saw it.

He then called Ms Farooqi to tell her she had been dismissed.

"It’s mixed emotions: we’re through to the final, I’m still on that high, but I’ve also lost my job," she told The Telegraph.

Ms Farooqi, 37, from Ilkley, Bradford, in northern England, said she has no regrets.

"My friend won the ticket in her work ballot, and knew I'd do anything to get to the game – there was no way I was going to turn it down," she said.

Ms Farooqi recalled the last time England had reached the semi-finals of the Euros – when the current England manager missed the decisive spot kick in a penalty shootout defeat to Germany.

"This hadn’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."

Ms Farooqi realised she had gone viral when she began receiving messages from friends around the world saying they had seen her on television celebrating.

"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," she said.

England defeated Denmark 2-1 in Wednesday's semi-final and play Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday.

Updated: July 9th 2021, 1:12 PM
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