The moment England fan Nina was caught attending the England v Denmark match when she called in sick at work
An England fan who called in sick to work to attend the England’s semi final win at Wembley was fired from her job after being caught on TV.
Over 23.86m people would have saw Nina Farooqi, 37, and her friend cheering on the Three Lions after they won 2-1 against Denmark sending them to the Euro 2020 final where they will face Italy on Sunday.
After being offered a last-minute ticket to Wednesday’s match, Nina, a digital content producer from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, wanted to go but wasn’t convinced her work would give her the time off.
So instead she decided to pull a sickie - but with 66,000 fans in attendance at Wembley Stadium surely Nina would just blend in, right?
That’s exactly what she thought when she took the lunchtime train from Leeds to London.
However, Nina’s seat was behind a goal where her cover was ultimately blown after England’s equaliser in 39th minute.
The camera panned to Nina and her friend wearing England face paint, and hold and England flag whilst cheering and fist pumping the air in celebration.
She was notified of her impromptu TV appearance by friends who messaged her from across the globe including Australia and the US.
Nina even featured in TV presenter Stacey Dooley’s Instagram story that included her celebratory footage that was aired.
“My phone blew up. The whole world had seen me celebrating. The rational part of me thought, ‘oh no, is this going to come back to haunt me?’” Nina told The Telegraph.
“It’s mixed emotions: we’re through to the final, I’m still on that high, but I’ve also lost my job.
“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.”
Unsurprisingly, like the tens of millions across the country, her former co-workers spotted her in the crowd.
Although she made the 6am commute back to Leeds to get to work in time on Thursday morning, Nina was told in a phone call that she had been fired, the Telegraph reported.
She said: “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.
Despite getting caught in the lie and losing her job, Nina says she would “do it all over again.”
“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.”
Charles Taylor, director at Composite Prime, said: “It’s an exciting time for everyone in England and given the opportunity, we would have encouraged attendance to such an important football match.
“Unfortunately on this occasion our employee lied, taking one day off sick to attend the football match on Wednesday 7 July.
“This was in breach of her employment contract and so we had no choice but to take the appropriate action. As a business we value honesty and integrity, and we don’t tolerate any employee taking advantage of our policies.
“Like many businesses will be doing across the county, our staff will be having Monday morning off to hopefully recover from celebrating an England win!”