In more unwelcome news, researchers have warned that mass gatherings in pubs and at home as people follow England’s progress in Qatar could lead to a rise in Covid infections. They have pointed to a similar effect during Euro 2020, with Professor Christophe Fraser, an epidemiologist at Oxford University, saying: “It was a much bigger event in terms of mixing people and spreading the virus than the celebrations we had at Christmas that year. That suggests that a key factor in influencing infection rates this year will be England’s performance during the World Cup.”
Jesus has posted a message of his own, addressing his younger self. It reads: “If there was a timeline and I could see you and tell you something, I would say ‘Gabriel, you are a winner’. Thank you to everyone who sent messages of support and affection.”
According to SporTV in Brazil, Gabriel Jesus could be facing three months on the sidelines with the knee injury which has brought his World Cup campaign to a premature end. Unsurprisingly, Arsenal fans have their heads in their hands.
Even as we delve deeper into the knockout stages, what’s going on off the field at this World Cup is, in many ways, much more pressing. Here’s the latest.
In Deptford, south-east London, there’s a generational divide in the local Senegalese community over who to support. “Senegal represents home and I think they’ll win,” says Ndene Ndiaye. “But my children were born here and they’re English supporters all the way.”
Welcome to another day of Qatar 2022, the tournament which continues to plumb new depths. The first game today is, of course, France against Poland, aka the valiant-Napoleonic-cavalry-charge derby. Who will win the battle of the strikers, Kylian Mbappé or Robert Lewandowski? There’s another game on, too, possibly – let us find our notes, they must be here somewhere – ah yes, England against Senegal. Will it come home? Won’t it? The age-old question. And are England even any good? Here’s Jonathan Wilson with the answer.