``This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong,`` French midfielder Paul Pogba tweeted after his team beat Belgium.
PHOTO BY TWITTER
SAINT PETERSBURG – Paul Pogba dedicated France’s World Cup semi-final win against Belgium to the 12 boys who survived a harrowing ordeal trapped underground in Thailand.
The final five members of a young football team and their coach were rescued from a flooded Thai cave on Tuesday after spending 18 days trapped deep inside.
Players from France and England welcomed news of the rescue and sent their best wishes to the young team called “Wild Boars” on Twitter.
“This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong,” French midfielder Paul Pogba tweeted after his team beat Belgium 1-0 overnight to reach the final.
FIFA boss Gianni Infantino had invited the boys’ Wild Boars football team to Sunday’s World Cup final last week.
But FIFA said it had been informed “that due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow”.
“FIFA’s priority remains the health of everyone involved in the operation and we will look into finding a new opportunity to invite the boys to a FIFA event to share with them a moment of communion and celebration,” a spokesman said.
The Thai footballers, aged from 11 to 16, had been stuck deep underground after setting off to explore the cave with their coach after training on June 23.
FIFA also expressed condolences to the family of a Thai Navy SEAL who died after running out of oxygen during the rescue operation on Friday. “Our thoughts are with his family,” FIFA said.
Manchester City and England defender Kyle Walker, whose team faces Croatia in the second semi-final later on Wednesday, said he wanted to send shirts to the boys.
“Amazing news that all of the Thai kids are out of the cave safely!” Walker tweeted. JHQ/Expat Media
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