World Cup 2022 LIVE: James Maddison misses training as Sven-Goran Eriksson tips England as tournament favourites

‘My Dad cried!’ – James Maddison on World Cup callup for England

England have arrived in Qatar but James Maddison has missed the majority of this morning’s training session as former boss Sven-Goran Eriksson spoke out about their chances at the World Cup. He believes that England are one of the favourites to lift the trophy this year and says that Harry Kane needs to be on top form if the Three Lions are to stand a chance.

Eriksson, who guided England to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2002 and 2006, as well as at Euro 2004, believes England are up there with Brazil, Argentina, France and Germany as potential tournament winners saying: “I think this is one of those World Cups where you can’t say whose going to win it. If you asked 100 experts they will come up with different answers.”

Elsewhere, Lionel Messi warmed up for Argentina’s first World Cup fixture versus Saudi Arabia by netting his 91st international goal as the Albicelestes demolished the United Arab Emirates 5-0 in a warm-up match with Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez and Juventus’ Angel Di Maria also on the scoresheet.

Follow all the latest news and squad announcements from the 32 teams below:


‘A new era of football’: Why the Qatar World Cup may see an erosion of national styles

Over the last few months, Gareth Southgate has been immersing himself in more information than any England manager has ever had going into a World Cup. The breadth is remarkable. Zooming out, there are all of the models and handbooks, that basically distill thousands of minutes of football to tell managers “how World Cups are won”. Zooming in, there are all the individual analyses of each team.

Some elements stand out across so much information. One is that virtually every side at this World Cup counter-presses.

“It’s become a common trend across all teams,” says Dr David Adams, the Welsh FA’s Chief Football Officer. “Even the lower-ranked teams don’t just drop into a defensive block when they lose the ball any more. That’s an idea, from Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, that has gone across all of the football ecosystem.”

Michael Jones17 November 2022 14:31


World Cup 2022 squads: Latest news on all 831 players heading to Qatar

The World Cup 2022 in Qatar is upon us and all 32 teams are in the process of naming their squads, with each country allowed to select a 26-man group for the first time.

It means there will be 831 players heading to the first winter World Cup (with Iran electing to name just 25), with a deadline of Monday 14 November to submit the squads – just seven days before the tournament begins with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador.

Gareth Southgate will name his England group on Thursday afternoon, with debate currently ongoing over a number of the spots, while other countries’ announcements will filter through across the week.

The race to succeed France as world champions is about to heat up. Here’s a full list of the players heading to Qatar and all the info you need about each team:

Michael Jones17 November 2022 14:24


Football didn’t do enough to stop Qatar World Cup, Norway boss claims

Norway boss Stale Solbakken has accused football of not doing enough to prevent Qatar hosting the World Cup finals.

Lise Klaveness, president of the Norwegian Football Federation, spoke out strongly about the award of the tournament to the Gulf state at the Fifa Congress in March, and the nation will be sending only one member of staff – an analyst to run the rule over Euro 2024 qualifying opponents Spain.

Asked about Norway’s opposition as he prepared for Thursday night’s friendly against the Republic Ireland in Dublin, Solbakken said: “I think that first of all Fifa has the biggest failing, given the circumstances back when Qatar was given the tournament (in 2010). That is obviously the biggest mistake.

Michael Jones17 November 2022 14:17


Security in Qatar halt Danish presenter live on TV ahead of World Cup

The Qatar World Cup organisers have apologised after footage of a Danish camera crew being “mistakenly interrupted” on a live broadcast went viral.

A group confronted Danish network TV2 on Tuesday night while they were producing a piece to camera and ordered them to stop filming.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, who are the local organisers of the tournament, have now released a statement and conceded that the Danish crew did indeed have the correct permits to film and issued an apology.

“Tournament organisers are aware of an incident where a Danish broadcast crew were mistakenly interrupted during a live broadcast in one of Qatar’s tourist destinations,” the statement read.

Michael Jones17 November 2022 14:09


Qatar World Cup ambassador says homosexuality is ‘damage in the mind’

A Qatar World Cup ambassador has told German television broadcaster ZDF that homosexuality was “damage in the mind”, as the Gulf state prepares to host the global tournament in less than two weeks.

In an interview filmed in Doha and to be screened later on Tuesday, former Qatari international Khalid Salman addressed the issue of homosexuality, which is illegal in the conservative Muslim country.

Some football players have raised concerns over the rights of fans travelling to the event, especially LGBT+ individuals and women, whom rights groups say Qatari laws discriminate against.

The country expects more than one million visitors for the World Cup.

“They have to accept our rules here,” Salman said, in an excerpt of the interview. “[Homosexuality] is haram. You know what haram [forbidden] means?” he said.

Michael Jones17 November 2022 14:01


A political World Cup is nothing new

For Omar Larrosa, an Argentine forward who got on the pitch in the 1978 World Cup final, a complicated question has a simple response. He is asked whether his winner’s medal is sullied by how the country’s brutal ruling junta exploited that victory. He is, however, one of the few to discuss it.

“Nobody knew anything,” Larrosa tells The Independent. “We played for the people, for the Argentine shirt.

“If the World Cup is authorised by Fifa, with all the federations playing, I had to do my work. My work is football. It’s like a doctor or journalist. You do your work. Fifa ordered this World Cup, so we played.

“It was what I dedicated my life to. It was the best, because I was in the middle of the pitch, hearing the entire public support us, so many blue and white flags. The best, the best that football gave me, to be champion, and lift the trophy.”

Michael Jones17 November 2022 13:53


Everything wrong with the Qatar World Cup

Out of the many facts and figures circulated about Qatar’s problems, there is one realisation that should stand above everything. It is a disgrace that, in 2022, a country can host a World Cup where it has lured millions of people from the poorest countries on earth – often under false pretences – and then forced them into what many call “modern slavery”.

And yet this has just been accepted. The World Cup carries on, an end product of a structure that is at once Orwellian and Kafkaesque. A huge underclass of people work in an autocratic surveillance state, amid an interconnected network of issues that make it almost impossible to escape. “It’s all so embedded,” says Michael Page of Human Rights Watch.

Many will point to similar problems in the west but this isn’t the failure of a system. It is the system, global inequality taken to an extreme. “The bottom line is that these human rights abuses are not normal for a World Cup host,” says Minky Worden, also of Human Rights Watch.

Michael Jones17 November 2022 13:46


John Barnes: The banana skins don’t come for everyone equally

“In today’s Britain, it is easy to forget that we are all the children of our imperial past. I was born in Jamaica, to a Jamaican mother and a Trinidadian father. Mine was a politically elite household – my father was a colonel in the British army, who trained at Sandhurst with Andrew Parker Bowles, the Queen Consort’s ex-husband.

“A quintessential child of the empire, descended from two former colonies, I was brought up to believe in a Churchillian attitude toward Britain’s past. Black and from the Caribbean, I was raised to believe in the glory of an empire where the sun never set.

“Moving from Jamaica to the UK at the age of 12, I grew up with an intimate understanding of racial hierarchy. My world was one of John Wayne films on the one hand – and Tarzan on the other. The uncivilised (and often unclothed) African savage appeared constantly in the background of my cultural consciousness…”

Michael Jones17 November 2022 13:40


Fantasy World Cup: 30 best players to pick for your team

Between now and Boxing Day, fans of the Premier League and Fantasy Premier League will have to bide their time and wait for domestic action’s return – but in their place, the sport’s biggest stage has its own equivalent offering.

The World Cup 2022 starts in Qatar on Sunday and the official World Cup Fantasy (WCF) game offers supporters the chance to combine some of the global stars from other leagues alongside favourites from this season’s FPL team, should they so wish.

Below we’ve identified 30 players who should be given serious consideration, depending on how you plan to set up your team and your own predictions for the group stage and beyond.

Michael Jones17 November 2022 13:30


Ghana beat Switzerland in final World Cup warm-up

Ghana scored twice in the space of four second-half minutes to secure a convincing 2-0 win over Switzerland in their World Cup 2022 warm-up friendly in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Defender Mohammed Salisu broke the deadlock with a looping header from a poorly defended corner as Ghana took a 70th-minute lead.

A storming run from Kamaldeen Sulemana four minutes later was blocked by Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer but the ball popped up for Antoine Semenyo to fire home from close range.

Both countries were using the match to prepare for their opening game at the World Cup in Qatar.

Michael Jones17 November 2022 13:23

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