I’m a WAG and World Cup veteran – I know exactly how England’s other halves can handle Qatar’s ruinous rules

I am generally convinced that rules are made to be broken.

But the strict list of World Cup do’s and don’ts published by England’s chefs at this year’s Wags is not to be taken lightly.

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Lizzie Cundy at the 2010 World Cup in South AfricaCredit: Paul Edwards – The Sun
The likes of Jack Grealish's girlfriend Sasha Attwood should be looking forward to the World Cup and all the glitz and glamor that comes with it

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The likes of Jack Grealish’s girlfriend Sasha Attwood should be looking forward to the World Cup and all the glitz and glamor that comes with itCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspapers Ltd

Our girls have been warned that if they get the needle foot wrong in strict Qatar, they could end up in jail.

My heart goes out to them because they got a manifesto against party poo.

No alcohol, no skimpy outfits, no PDAs, no singing in public and not even selfies, at least not outside of official buildings.

The Wags just won’t know what to do with themselves.

Has 2022 host country Qatar already qualified for the World Cup?
England's Wags given strict rules to follow to avoid World Cup crisis

The likes of Jack Grealish’s girlfriend Sasha Attwood and fellow England Wags should look forward to the World Cup and all the glitz and glamor that comes with it.

Instead, they will fear getting in trouble for doing perfectly normal things.

I was lucky enough to go to two World Cups, Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010, and that may sound silly, but I’m not exaggerating when I say the Wags play a role huge in creating that special atmosphere.

In South Africa, I was treated like a superstar. I can barely tell you what it was like there.

I kept thinking, ‘Did they mistake me for someone?’

The World Cup is meant to be an international celebration, and we were there to support our boys in the best way we know how.

But with the risk of a crisis in Qatar if anyone has too much fun, I think those good days are over.

This year’s Wags learned that public displays of affection, including kissing, will not be tolerated.

Double hit

It’s going to be hard. I remember watching my ex-husband Jason Cundy play for Chelsea and Tottenham, and when you watch a game, especially when they score, you jump up and hug.

You can’t help it, it’s instinct you do – these girls want to support their partner and they want to show affection. They want to show their passion.

And if you’re on vacation with your partner, you’re just openly affectionate without even thinking about it.

In fact, we’ve seen a few of the players flirt with the wrong person, so it’s a double whammy for loyal partners. Then there are the rules regarding wardrobe choices.

Wags love to dress up and are fully aware that when their partner scores a goal all the cameras are on them.

We’ve seen a few of the players flirty with the wrong person, so it’s a double whammy for loyal partners.

They want to watch the bee’s knees – clothes are their life and they will obviously have all their outfits ready for matches. And for girls to dress modestly? They don’t have that in their vocabulary.

What is modest anyway? I know I’ve been outside before and someone said, “Ooh, that’s kinda racy,” and I’m like, “Gee, that’s okay.”

Will they have to have their skirts below the knee? Will their shoulders be covered? And it’s going to be very hot — are you allowed to go out in a tank top?

They could be in trouble unless they have a guard or someone there who checks them head to toe with a measuring tape and says, “No, that skirt is too short.”

For girls used to rightfully making their own choices about their own bodies, this will feel so wrong.

We all know Wags love a good selfie, just like the rest of us – and Qatar is a beautiful place – so taking a selfie is something these girls will do without even thinking about it.

They’ll want to put pictures there – they’re at the World Cup, it’s the pinnacle of their partners’ careers – but taking a selfie in front of a government building is illegal.

A World Cup without Wags would be a sad sight

And we’re not just talking about a slap on the wrist here, this is serious stuff. This can result in jail time, as well as fines.

Drinking in public is something else. What if they win and England go through? Are you saying they can’t celebrate with a drink?

They’re also not allowed to sing – so I can’t imagine how deadly boring the stadiums will sound.

Like many others, when I watch a football game, I get caught by someone else and find myself singing at the top of my lungs until my throat is hoarse. It’s in you and you can’t stop it.

All of these rules are going to be broken, probably by accident – and we might see one of our daughters put in jail. Footballers’ wives have a very bad reputation for being nothing but bimbos who like to shop and get their nails done and are just after the money.

But they are not. Many of them are smart women with careers of their own. They’re not used to being told what to do. They are strong, independent women who make their own rules.

If I were them, I would stand up against these regressive regulations and say, “We’re not going to go there.” A World Cup without Wags would be a sad sight.

But after all the support they’ve given their partners, the Wags should also expect to have their backing to take a stand.


Lizzie’s 8 Best Wag Moments

Like the Beatles

Victoria, left, and Coleen, center, are joined by friend Michael Owen's wife Louise, second right, and Frank Lampard's fiancee, Elen Rivas, right, in Baden-Baden

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Victoria, left, and Coleen, center, are joined by friend Michael Owen’s wife Louise, second right, and Frank Lampard’s fiancee, Elen Rivas, right, in Baden-BadenCredit: Associated Newspapers

I will never forget that first moment when I saw the Wags marching together in line in Baden-Baden during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

It was as if the Beatles had come to town when Victoria Beckham, Coleen Rooney and the gang came out.

Everyone was like, “Wow. Who are they? What are they wearing?”.

They were everywhere and it was like no one had ever seen them before. It was a time when girls were really more popular than gamers.

And England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson loved it, because the focus wasn’t on the boys.

They sold more magazines than if you had Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on the front page. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like this again.

Sunglasses War

You had this hierarchy, with Victoria Beckham, at the top, then Cheryl Cole

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You had this hierarchy, with Victoria Beckham, at the top, then Cheryl ColeCredit: Alamy

It was great to see the girls watching the games and seeing the size of their sunglasses in 2006.

You had this hierarchy, with Victoria Beckham at the top and then Cheryl Cole, because we knew them from the Spice Girls and Girl Aloud.

Then we had Coleen Rooney, who was new to the neighborhood, but you could see she had real star quality.

It was so fun to watch the top girls go for the top spot and get shot when their partner scores. The cameras went right on them, with their immaculate hair, huge sunglasses and lots of lip gloss. They looked like stars.

Meet Mandela

That's when I knew the England Wags had gone global

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That’s when I knew the England Wags had gone globalCredit: Reuters

WHEN I met Nelson Mandela at the 2010 World Cup, the former South African leader’s first words were: “Where are the Wags?”

That’s when I knew the England Wags had actually gone global. It was something else.

The new generation

Rebekah Vardy managed the Wags team in Russia in 2018

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Rebekah Vardy managed the Wags team in Russia in 2018Credit: AP:Associated Press

At the last World Cup in Russia, in 2018, we saw Rebekah Vardy, leading the Wags squad, all dressed in brand new gear as they hit the town.

Sadly, Rebekah has been making a lot of noise since then – and I can’t imagine her leading a similar outing now.

Stay next to Prince Harry

Princes William and Harry watch the 2010 World Cup

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Princes William and Harry watch the 2010 World CupCredit: Reuters

I was in the resort town of Sun City in South Africa, but my friend moved me to another hotel, the Saxton, much to my annoyance.

However when I arrived I got the only room left which was next to Prince Harry on the top floor with a view.

I was like, “This is my kind of place!”. In the same hotel, I organized the most chic cocktail party, with David Beckham, Prince Harry and Prince William.

Prince Harry’s PR looked at me and said, “What the hell are you doing here?” and I said, “There’s no party without Cundy, I’m here!”

Their faces turned pale when they saw me enter.

champagne with straw

ENGLAND may not have won the World Cup in 2006, but we definitely won the prize for celebrating.

Steven Gerrard’s wife, Alex Curran, reportedly conducted karaoke while drinking magnums of champagne through straws with fellow Wags at Garibaldi’s nightclub. There were also dance reports on tables and huge bar bills.

Queen of Wags

Nancy Dell'Olio dated Sven-Goran Eriksson

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Nancy Dell’Olio dated Sven-Goran ErikssonCredit: BBC

WHEN I was working for ITV as a Wags correspondent in 2006, I was asked to interview the ‘Queen of the Wags’.

I was like, “Who is this?”. Then I get a call from Nancy Dell’Olio, who’s been dating Sven, joking, “Honey, I’m married to the boss. I’m the Queen of Wags!

party bus

Jordan Pickford's wife Megan Davidson traveled to Wembley for the Euro semi-finals last year on a party bus

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Jordan Pickford’s wife Megan Davidson traveled to Wembley for the Euro semi-finals last year on a party busCredit: Instagram

WE know that, given the chance, today’s Wags would be up for a party.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s wife, Megan Davidson, traveled to Wembley for the Euro semi-finals last year in a bus decorated with English flags and footballs.

It came after England’s first game at the Euros, when Megan donned personalized football shirts and skimpy denim shorts, alongside Kieran Trippier’s wife Charlotte, Harry’s fiancée Maguire, Fern Hawkins, Luke Shaw’s girlfriend, Anouska Santos, and Kyle Walker’s wife, Annie Kilner.