AN Ilkley company which sacked an employee after she pulled a sickie to go to the England vs Denmark Euros semi-final said she would have been allowed to go if she’d been honest.

Composite Prime, based in The Grove, Ilkley, said it would have “encouraged” 37-year-old Nina Farooqi to go to the historic match at Wembley Stadium.

But because she lied to them about why she wouldn’t be at work that day, the firm said it was left with little choice but to terminate her employment.

Nina Farooqi, from Ilkley, phoned in sick so she could attend the match with a friend who had won tickets from her workplace.

However, her deception was exposed after she was caught on camera celebrating England’s opening goal in the stands on live television, and was spotted by friends, and her boss.

She told the Daily Telegraph that while heading home on Thursday morning she received a call telling her to “not bother coming in”, and that she had lost her job.

While she said she regretted losing her job, she would have also regretted missing the match – England’s first semi-final win since 1966.

However, Composite Prime, a decking and cladding firm, said she would have been able to attend the match – and keep her job – if she had been honest with them.

Charles Taylor, director at Composite Prime, said: “It’s an exciting time for everyone in England and given the opportunity, we would have encouraged attendance to such an important football match.

“Unfortunately, on this occasion our employee lied, taking one day off sick to attend the football match on Wednesday, July 7.

"This was in breach of her employment contract and so we had no choice but to take the appropriate action.

“As a business we value honesty and integrity, and we don't tolerate any employee taking advantage of our policies.

"Like many businesses will be doing across the county, our staff will be having Monday morning off to hopefully recover from celebrating an England win!”

Ms Farooqi had worked for the firm since March as a digital content producer, while also doing freelance work covering men's and women's professional football.

She said: “They said they'd seen I'd been at the game, and I was honest about why I did it.

“But I didn't get any sympathy at all and they said that's it. That's their call and the consequence of what I did.

“There is a bit of regret, no one wants to get fired, but then also I would have hated the regret of missing out. I'd do it all over again.”