World Cup 2022: countdown to Wales v England, plus Iran v USA – live | World Cup 2022


Key events

One of the subplots in that high energy 3-3 draw between Cameroon and Serbia on Monday was the non-appearance of Cameroon’s first-choice goalkeeper Andre Onana. Onana was marked as “absent” on the team sheet, with head coach Rigobert Song saying he had to “put the team first ahead of an individual” amid reports of a falling out over tactics.

The Cameroon football association has now, according to Reuters reports, formally suspended Onana. It quotes a statement from Fecafoot saying:

The Cameroon football federation hereby informs the public that following Rigobert Song Bahanag’s decision, head coach of the Indomitable Lions, the player Andre Onana has been temporarily suspended from the group for disciplinary reasons.

The Cameroon football federation reiterates its full support to the head coach and his entire staff as they implement the federation’s policy aimed at preserving discipline, solidarity, complementarity and cohesion within the national team.

Fecafoot further reaffirms its commitment to create a peaceful atmosphere for the team and to provide them with adequate facilities for an outstanding performance.

The last time that the US and Iran played each other at a World Cup was in Lyon at France 98. The two teams posed together for a group photograph before the match, which Iran went on to win 2-1.

US and Iranian players pose for a group photo before the start of their World Cup first round match in Lyon in 1998.
US and Iranian players pose for a group photo before the start of their World Cup first round match in Lyon in 1998. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP

With the tone of pre-match comments out of Carlos Queiroz ahead of today’s clash, at the moment it is difficult to imagine such scenes being repeated.

It became clear towards the end of that Portugal and Uruguay match yesterday that I don’t really understand the handball rule any more, and I probably am not alone. Chief VAR nerd Dale Johnson at ESPN was 100% convinced it should not have been a penalty against Jose Maria Gimenez in the 89th minute on Monday. He writes:

The IFAB stripped back the handball last year, removing much of the wording to make it less complicated. But with it came a long presentation to set out when a player should not be penalised for handball – even if their arm is away from the body.

One of those specific examples covers when “arm position is for support when falling or when getting up from the ground.” It doesn’t matter if the ball hits the hand before it touches the ground.

Gimenez is very clearly using his left arm for support as he falls to challenge Fernandes, and this has to be covered by the exception. It is almost identical to the example the IFAB issued.

My old school view is that, sure I get all that, but Bruno Fernandes had clearly got himself through on goal if it doesn’t hit the hand, so surely it has to be a penalty, whether Gimenez meant it or not, was in a natural position or not?

But one thing I do know is that there would have been a lot of people enjoying watching Uruguay protesting about a last minute handball penalty at a World Cup, that is for sure.

Uruguay's Maxi Gomez, Luis Suarez and Jose Maria Gimenez remonstrate with referee Alireza Faghani after he gave Portugal that penalty.
Uruguay’s Maxi Gomez, Luis Suarez and Jose Maria Gimenez remonstrate with referee Alireza Faghani after he gave Portugal that penalty. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has put in an early bid for quote of the day, branding social media as “all that shite”.

He told the press in Qatar “If there’s one thing I learned at the Olympics, it was after a big win against Argentina, there was too much celebration. And that celebration, I’m sorry, is social media.

“They get on that until four or five in the morning, watch all the great comments and enjoy all that shite, if I can say that.

“It affects players, it affects their sleep patterns … it’s killing us. Just get rid of it and don’t look at it.”

Graham Arnold, head coach of Australia, thinking about Instagram.
Graham Arnold, head coach of Australia, thinking about Instagram. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

In a comment that I would rate a seven out of 10, Arnold said “I am really glad I played in the days when there was no mobile telephones and no journos giving you ratings out of 10 and things like that.

“It’s a big thing … I think players these days are so mentally strong because of that.

“But at the end of the day, I have to get my wife off social media, I have to get my kids off social media, because it nearly kills them in this time and environment. But that’s the way it is now.”

Also having his say this morning is former England international John Barnes, who has written in the Times that everybody should lay off knocking Qatar and respect the progress they’ve made. The former Liverpool and Watford man, who has previously worked for Qatari broadcasters, writes:

The vitriol and disdain towards Qatar as the tournament approached has been laughable. You would have thought the tournament had been awarded to the country a few months ago. It’s the same debate that was had ten years ago. Since Qatar was awarded the tournament, things have changed, and progress has been made on the human rights of migrant workers. While there is still a long way to go, the situation is streets ahead of where they were ten years ago – with improvements in housing, facilities and wages.

Striking a note somewhat similar to the “Yet you participate in society! Curious!” man in that “We should improve society somewhat” meme, he also says:

It’s interesting to observe that some of those who are making a lot of noise now have had little to say about the development of Qatar over the previous 20 years.

However, he does make this point in the opening of his column, which will have confused “anti-woke” readers about just whose side he is on:

How would we like it if African TV stations, pundits and journalists came to a World Cup in England and highlighted injustices towards black people, the lack of black managers, abuse of black players, and worse, the treatment of black people in the inner cities by the authorities? How would we like it if they demanded change and made calls to boycott matches, and for the World Cup to be taken off England, while residing at our top hotels and eating at our finest restaurants? How dare they?!

So while discrimination is enshrined in Qatari law, discrimination is also enshrined in British society and culture. Lots of black people are stopped, searched and detained just because they are black. Let’s sort ourselves out before we start to lecture and preach to the rest of the world.

We have some words today from Elis James, who is writing on how Wales must play with the handbrake off to earn an overdue win against old foes England:

After the 1-1 draw with the USA in the opening game, fans hoped for a repeat of Euro 2020: a nervy stalemate in the first match against Switzerland followed by Bale and Ramsey rolling back the years to outclass Turkey and see us reach the last 16; Gareth and Aaron adding to the evidence that there are in fact two real Princes of Wales. We were all to be disappointed. A deserved win for Iran as a lacklustre Wales cracked in the final two minutes of stoppage time. Even a victory in the final group game may not be enough.

And so, on to England. Many, if not most, of our fans were disappointed when we were drawn in the same group as our nextdoor neighbours. If the European Championship is about big international derbies and the continent’s heavyweights being pitted against each other, part of the World Cup’s allure is new teams, strange fixtures, different experiences, something that can’t be provided by the familiarity of Luke Shaw and Mason Mount. Before last Monday night the only competitive games Wales had played against non‑European opposition were against Mexico and Brazil in 1958. Declan Rice was not part of the plan in this global festival of football.

Read more here: Elis James – Wales must play with handbrake off to earn overdue win against old foes England

If you missed it overnight, Max and the gang were hard at work to produce another daily World Cup episode of Football Weekly, in which they discuss the extraordinary clashes between South Korea and Ghana, and then between Serbia and Cameroon, as well as the qualification of Portugal and Brazil, and preview today’s matches as well. You can get that in your ears here: Aboubakar scoop and Kudus strike add to World Cup goalfest – Football Daily

Preamble

It is positively whizzing past, isn’t it? It is only day ten of this World Cup like no other, and already we are at the sharp end of the group stages. By close of play tonight, eight teams will have “played three” next to their names, and four of them will be going home. Well, let us be honest, three of them will be going home, and Qatar will just be sat glumly in the corner of their own party.

There are four matches ahead. At 3pm GMT it is Netherlands v Qatar, and Ecuador v Senegal in Group A. Get your second screens ready. Draws will suffice for the Netherlands and Ecuador, a win is a must for Senegal.

Group B concludes at 7pm GMT. England must avoid a four goal defeat to Wales to progress. Wales must beat England by any score, and hope that the highly charged meeting between the US and Iran ends up in a highly charged draw. A win for either of the US or Iran will see them through.

I’m Martin Belam, and I’ll be bringing you all the buildup during the day, plus the media quotes from the teams in Group C and Group D who will be playing tomorrow, and all the other World Cup news, on and off the field, as it happens. You can reach me on martin.belam@theguardian.com.



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