‘My Dad cried!’ – James Maddison on World Cup callup for England
England have begun training in Qatar as they prepare for their World Cup-opener against Iran on Monday, having also met migrant workers in a country where thousands have reportedly died during preparations for the tournament.
Having controversially been awarded hosting rights in 2010, the Gulf state’s suitability and human rights record have been intensely scrutinised. Last year a report by the Guardian said 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since the award of the World Cup – something “categorically” denied by authorities.
The FA organised for migrant workers to meet England’s squad and coaching staff, and those involved were given Three Lions shirts, which players signed at the end of the training drills. Penalties were taken by both the players and workers, who the FA surprised by giving them category A tickets to England’s Group B opener against Iran. James Maddison, however, was absent as his participation in England’s first match is up in the air.
Elsewhere, Senegal suffered a major injury blow as Liverpool forward Sadio Mane was officially ruled out of the World Cup, and a number of teams involved in the winter tournament took part in friendlies on Thursday night. Ghana beat Switzerland 2-0 and Japan lost 2-1 to Canada, while Spain defeated Jordan 3-1 and Cristiano Ronaldo was absent as Portugal beat Nigeria 4-0.
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Here’s more on England meeting migrant workers in Qatar:
An employee of the Qatar Supreme Committee said those taking part all had contracts with them, saying those involved had played in the Workers’ Cup or are currently involved in community football.
A couple of workers spoke to the assembled media after the session, including Ashlin, 27, from Kerala, India. “It’s a good opportunity,” he said, wearing his signed England shirt and holding his match ticket along with a mini replica World Cup football. “I am an England fan – Frank Lampard, John Terry and free-kick master in David Beckham. I’m also a Chelsea fan.”
An electrical technician who has been in Qatar for the past three-and-a-half years, Ashlin currently works at Al Bayt Stadium – the venue for England’s Group B clash with Wales. “Qatar is a good country and it’s a safe country,” he said. “There’s freedom in Qatar.” Asked about the living conditions, he said: “It’s good. The accommodation is good quality.”
Alex Pattle18 November 2022 08:32
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Alex Pattle18 November 2022 08:21