Dhaka, Bangladesh
England gifted Bread and Salt

England gifted Bread and Salt

England were treated to a traditional Russian ‘Bread and Salt’ welcome as they took part in their first training session at Spartak Zelenogorsk’s stadium ahead of the World Cup on Wednesday, reports The Daily Mail. Gareth Southgate was presented with a World Cup-themed round loaf of bread placed on a tray with an embroidered towel by a young lady dressed in a sarafan and Kokoshnik. While England captain Harry Kane was gifted a large, fancy gold teapot as part of the ceremonial welcome before they began their session. This particular Russian custom is often practised during official events and is offered to admired guests as a sign of their hospitality. It has been embedded in Russian culture since the 15th century with locals believing if enemies shared ‘Bread and Salt’ with each other they would become close friends. Four-hundred local children also joined dignitaries in welcoming the England team to the country after they touched down in Russia on Tuesday. Kane and Co took time out of training to sign autographs for the young children who had come to welcome them to Russia. Just 10 minutes down the road from England’s hotel in Repino, there was a large turnout from English and international media at the ticketed open training session. Attendees underwent security checks at the entrance, with children given a Three Lions gift bag by volunteers. There was however one notable absentee from England’s first training session on Wednesday, with Marcus Rashford sitting out due to a ‘minor knee knock’. Rashford is expected to recover swiftly, though his chances of starting against Tunisia on Monday have been dealt a blow by the injury. The rest of Southgate’s squad were able to take in their new surroundings on the Gulf of Finland in northern Russia. Southgate’s men kick-off their World Cup campaign in just under a week’s time against Tunisia before games against Panama and then Belgium.

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