December 6, 2022

Poland’s national football team was escorted by military fighter jets as it travelled to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup amid rising tensions with Russia.

It comes just days after two Polish citizens were killed by a missile strike.

The New York Post reports that the team’s official account posted a video showing a pair of F-16 planes flying alongside their aircraft.

Poland’s football team were escorted by F1 planes to the border of Poland on their way to Qatar… 😳

Via @LaczyNasPilka pic.twitter.com/R7BAx1uhbB

— SPORTbible (@sportbible) November 17, 2022

The plane was emblazoned with the words ‘Republic of Poland’.

The tweet read: “We were escorted to the southern border of Poland by F16 planes!

“Thank you and greetings to the pilots!”

Photos show the jet fighting side by side with the plane, with the Polish flag draped just below the windshield.

The account later tweeted: “When you are a pilot, but also a fan of the Polish national team!”

According to the Post via local sources, the pilots accompanied the team until they left the country’s airspace.

The Polish national team later confirmed that the players and staff had made their way safely to Qatar and had touched down in Doha.

Poland’s government have been on high alert since a Soviet-era missile landed in the rural town of Przewodow near the border of Ukraine and killed two people.

It sparked concerns that it would lead to an escalation of war with Poland being a member of NATO.

It marked the first time a missile was fired into a territory protected by the alliance during Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzej later said that the strike had appeared to be accidental and was likely launched by Ukraine’s air defence systems in response to Russia’s bombardment of its infrastructure.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy disputed the claims and requested further investigation into the matter.

Poland is set to kick off their World Cup campaign against Mexico in a matchup that could go a long way in determining whether they progress out of the group stages.

With Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski on their side, there’s every chance they may go on a mammoth run through the tournament.

People online joked that the extra military precautions were all to keep the striker safe.

One fan tweeted: “Efforts to keep Lewandowski safe.”

Another said: “Keep Lewa safe please.”

A third wrote: “Protect Lewa at all costs.”

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