England VS Iran FIFA LIVE Football Score 21/11/2022
DOHA, Nov 20 (Reuters) – England will take the knee and captain Harry Kane will wear the One Love armband at their opening match of the World Cup against Iran on Monday, manager Gareth Southgate confirmed on Sunday. England have knelt before games since 2020, initially in solidarity with protests over George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and then in support of equality. The gesture is no longer a feature before kickoffs in the Premier League, where it is selectively used, but Southgate believes it is important his team continue it at the World Cup.
The armband represents support for equality and while it is not solely aimed at the rights of the LGBTQ community it is significant in Qatar where homosexuality is illegal. World soccer’s governing body FIFA takes a dim view of political statements and according to reports could punish those wearing the One Love armband with fines or disciplinary action. “We’ve made it clear as a team, the staff and an organisation that we want to wear the armband,” Kane said. “The FA are talking to FIFA at the moment and I’m sure by game time tomorrow we would have had their decision.”
Southgate has become used to dealing with social issues in his time as England manager and Sunday’s media conference again went beyond the field of play. The former defender was asked, in a question from an Iranian reporter lasting several minutes, whether he supported those protesting against the Iranian regime, a cause supported by some of Iran’s players.
“I don’t feel informed enough to comment on what’s going on in Iran, and I don’t think it’s really my place to comment on it either,” Southgate said. “I think the Iranian players and manager (Carlos Queiroz), I understand them, they are in a difficult position but I think they’re better informed to speak about those things. “If we were asked by their team to support them in some way, we would obviously have to listen to that and consider that but at the moment that hasn’t happened.”
Southgate said his main priority was that his team spread a little joy back home where political upheaval and a cost-of-living crisis make a gloomy backdrop to the World Cup. “We’re all hoping to focus on football now,” he said. “Our country is also going through a difficult spell, not the same as some of the other countries, but we’re in an economic recession and life has been difficult for a lot of our people.
Given the historically fraught relations between the two countries, the only chance of the football teams facing off would have come in a global tournament and they managed to avoid each other until now. In addition to the political tension between Iran and its three Western group members, all four teams sit in the top 20 of the rankings, giving it the dreaded moniker of “Group of Death”.
England are favourites to progress from the group based on their ranking, previous results and tournament history. However, Gareth Southgate’s team have lost three and drawn three matches in their UEFA Nations League fixtures this summer that led to their relegation.
Southgate has named a strong 26-man squad for the World Cup, and will hope his top performers from last year’s Euro run will make a comeback to their best form. Captain Harry Kane will lead the attack with the likes of Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka. Jordan Henderson, Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount make up for a strong midfield as well. England’s problems, however, have been in defence where Southgate has not been able to stop them from leaking goals.
Iran will look to exploit this weakness with star striker Mehdi Taremi at the front of the attack, supported by Sardar Azmoun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh. Iran’s Portuguese Coach Carlos Queiroz will look to employ his defence-heavy tactics to contain the English attacking talent. Iran have had a decent run of results in recent friendlies with wins over Uruguay and Lebanon.
During the second stage of their World Cup campaign, Iran won eight of their 10 games and topped their group ahead of South Korea. While the qualification campaign was led by Croatian coach Dragan Skocic, supporters of Team Melli will hope the return of Queiroz before a global tournament will work in their favour.
Iran will hope to come away from their opening encounter with at least a point. And with the out-of-form USA and closely ranked Wales being the other two teams in the group, Queiroz’s team will have a chance of pulling off an upset and qualifying for the knockout round at the World Cup for the first time.
Iran is all set to start their World Cup campaign today amid political unrest back at home while England enters into the maiden game as favorites. In Group B, England kickstarts their World Cup campaign in Khalifa International Stadium while it is for the third time, Iran plays at the leading sports event in the world.
Iran’s participation comes at a time amid huge turmoil in Western Asian nation, where the incumbent government is facing protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini. The team’s involvement in the mega event feels strange to many given the context. Some even called for a ban on their participation in the tournament. But today’s game will show how their players will act in Qatar amid protests off the pitch.
The Three Lions are favorites to advance from the group based on their ranking, previous results and history in football events. However, England lost three and drawn three games in their UEFA Nations League fixtures earlier this year.
Meanwhile, they have announced the squad for the World Cup and will hope top performers from last year’s Euro to display A-game in mega event. England’s striking talisman and skipper Harry Kane will lead the attack along with Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka. They got Jordan Henderson, Jude Bellingham, and Mason Mount for midfield.
Despite the strong squad from England, striker for Primeira Liga club Porto will led Iran at the front of the attack, supported by Sardar Azmoun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh. In today’s game, Tehran will try its best to come away from their opening encounter with at least one point.