England’s World Cup campaign gets underway in Qatar today, with Gareth Southgate’s team kicking off against Iran in the first group stage match at 1pm. It’s been 12 years since FIFA controversially awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar – and all the waiting and wondering is over for fans of England’s and Wales’ men’s teams as they begin the competition today.
Last night, Ecuador beat a very lacklustre Qatar team 2-0 in front of a half-empty stadium by the end of the match. Today, the controversy has continued. England and Wales were among seven European nations that had said their captains would wear a special ‘one love’ rainbow captain’s armband to show solidarity with the LGBT+ community, given homosexuality is outlawed in Qatar, but FIFA has threatened those captains with an instant yellow card before the game even kicks off, so it appears Harry Kane and his fellow captains won’t now wear that armband.
Back in Bristol, this is almost certainly the first time that England’s first World Cup game will be played with a storm warning in force for the South West – it’s a wet and windy November day, and nothing like the sort of summer scenes of sunshine that normally accompany England playing in a major tournament.
READ MORE: Bristol pub sends stark message to FIFA over Qatar human rights abuses
Pubs and bars across Bristol are showing the England game, and we will bring you all the latest atmosphere, build up and scenes as England expects from the desert.
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