As the team’s aircraft flew to Qatar, two F-16s flanked it.
A pair of F-16 fighter jets accompanied the Polish national football team’s aircraft for a portion of its flight to the World Cup in Qatar, providing the team with additional security.
Before their opening World Cup match against Mexico next week, the Poland team left for Qatar on Thursday under the captaincy of prolific striker Robert Lewandowski.
In a video posted to the team’s social media pages, the crew could be seen waving to the football stars while their aircraft was being flanked by fighter jets.
“F16 planes escorted us to Poland’s southern border!” read the tweet that was posted with the video. Greetings and thanks to the pilots!
Two people were killed this week in a missile strike on Polish soil, not far from the Ukrainian border, prompting the special escort.
Initial claims that the rocket was fired by Russian forces and that it was an attack on NATO territory were made by several Polish and Ukrainian officials.
Poland has since acknowledged, however, that the incident was probably the result of a Ukrainian air defense missile that went astray. NATO and Washington share this opinion.
Poland qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar by defeating Sweden in the final of the European qualifying playoffs back in March.
Due to the conflict in Ukraine, Poland initially refused to play Russia in a playoff semifinal that was scheduled to take place in Moscow.
Then, Russian teams were barred from participating in any official competitions by FIFA and UEFA, ending their chances of traveling to Qatar.
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