Belgium’s Red Devils take off for Kuwait for final match before Qatar World Cup
Belgium’s Red Devils football team took off from Brussels Airport for Kuwait on Tuesday afternoon for the first stage of their Qatar World Cup 2022 campaign.
The squad face Egypt on Friday at 16.00 for their only friendly match before the World Cup kicks off on Sunday.
Following the friendly against Egypt, which failed to qualify for the tournament, players and staff will fly directly to Doha. Their base for the duration of the campaign is the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas, one hour and 20 minutes from the Qatar capital.
The Red Devils first official World Cup match will be against Canada on 23 November at 20.00.
Unlike the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where it came third, Roberto Martínez’ 26-man squad is not tipped to make the semis or the final. Since the last tournament, the Red Devils can no longer boast a ‘golden generation’ of players.
Under seasoned captain Eden Hazard, who only recently returned to match fitness, the team is reduced to two world-class players: goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne. Striker Romelu Lukaku is carrying an aggravated injury after an off-form season.
As regards the team’s stance towards the controversial World Cup host country, the Belgian football association’s chief executive Peter Bossaert said in September that it would join England and other countries in the One Love campaign. This includes Hazard wearing a rainbow-coloured armband in his captain’s role.
New Brussels Airlines livery honours both female and male national teams
Players and staff travelled in a Brussels Airlines Airbus320 blazoned with a new Trident livery dedicated to both the Red Devils and the Red Flames, the national women’s team. The red aircraft with dark tail represents a trident that blends into a flame, fusing the logos of both teams.
The airline announced in a press statement that it recognised widespread gender stereotypes persisted in sport and it was proud to make a small contribution in breaking down these barriers by spotlighting both logos.
The new Trident-decorated medium-haul aircraft will take off from Brussels to Paris for its first scheduled service on Wednesday.
Photo: Brussels Airlines