England will be hoping to record a much-needed win in their World Cup opener against Iran this afternoon, with kick-off scheduled for 1:00pm at the Khalifa International Stadium. Gareth Southgate will be desperate to get off to a good start in Group B as he overcomes the challenge of his unimaginative opponents, who will be just as determined to beat the odds and boost their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the tournament.
Southgate is likely to be without two of its England players for today’s test against Iran, with Kyle Walker sitting out last week and James Maddison skipping several recent training sessions to deal with a knee problem. However, the England boss is expected to name a strong squad, with the likes of Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier, Jordan Pickford and Jude Bellingham all set to present the World Cup winners over the course of their first match of the Group B in Doha. .
The build-up to the match has been somewhat overshadowed by the situation regarding the OneLove captain’s armband, which was initially to be worn by Kane before the FA backtracked on their plans despite previously insisting it would go ahead regardless. of FIFA’s position on the matter.
An official statement from the FA read: “FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the pitch.
“As national associations, we cannot put our players in a position where they may face sporting sanctions, including bookings, which is why we have asked captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup matches. .
“We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to infringements of the kit rules and we had a firm commitment to wear the armband. However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they could be booked or even forced to to leave the field of play”. .”
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