World Cup 2022 LIVE: FIFA boss Infantino makes bizarre speech, Harry Kane to wear One Love armband, Messi latest | The Sun

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has launched an astonishing attack on the “racist” and “hypocritical” West for daring to criticise Qatar.

Infantino started by claiming: “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker.

“Of course I am not Qatari, Arab, gay or disabled.

“But I was the son of a migrant worker, saw their conditions. Not in Qatar, but Switzerland.

“As a child I was bullied because I had red hair and freckles. Plus I was Italian and didn’t speak German."

And in a show of defiance, it's been confirmed England captain Harry Kane will wear the One Love armband in support of LGBTQ communities.

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Stay tuned with all the latest ahead of the tournament…

  • Jake Sanders

    England vs Iran build up

    England's World Cup opener against Iran is drawing ever-closer.

    The Three Lions kick off their campaign against Carlos Queiroz's side in Al Rayyan on Monday at 1pm.

    Gareth Southgate's charges will be expected to get up and running with a routine win, which will put them in good shape to reach the knockout stages

    But while Iran have only managed two victories in 15 previous World Cup games, but they almost qualified from a group that included both Portugal and Spain in 2018, so shouldn't be taken lightly.

    Here's everything you need to know about England and Iran ahead of their meeting.

  • Jake Sanders

    More bad news for Nkunku

    Chelsea transfer target Christopher Nkunku has suffered a setback in his injury battle.

    The Red Bull Leipzig striker has already been ruled out of the World Cup and now won't play again until the new year.

    Nkunku has been hoping to secure a £56 million move to Stamford Bridge next summer and even underwent a secret medical in the summer.

    But now he may need surgery and could be sidelined for six to eight weeks even before he begins training to regain full fitness.

    RB Leipzig said: "There are different options to treat this kind of injury."

    Nkunku got injured in a training session with the France team and had to pull out of their defending champions' squad.

  • Jake Sanders

    Neuer taking no chances in heat

    From Andy Dillon in Qatar.

    Manuel Neuer will be taking no chances in Qatar’s desert sunshine following his worrying brush with skin cancer.

    Germany’s captain revealed earlier this month that he underwent three operations to remove abnormal spots from the side of his nose.

    Keeper Neuer will be exposed to the sun’s harmful rays during the World Cup where temperatures are touching 32 degrees during the day. And he has urged everybody to be careful.

    Neuer, 36, said: “It is important to put on protective sun cream and for the next few years I will get myself checked. You need to exclude cancer as soon as possible.  

    Neuer trained in sweltering conditions at Germany’s isolated training camp in the north of Qatar today. The four times world champions kick off their campaign against Japan on Wednesday.

    The Bayern Munich legend said: “All of us know that there are just as many problems when you go on summer holidays. Do not shy away from going to see a doctor.”

  • Jake Sanders

    Gianni Infantino on migrant workers

    In his press conference, the Fifa president said: "If Europe would really care about the destiny of these young people.

    "Europe could do as Qatar did, create some legal channels, where at least a number, a percentage of these workers could come.

    "Lower revenues … but give them some hope, give them some future. This means we shouldn't point to what doesn't work, here in Qatar as well, of course, there are some things that don't work that need to be addressed.

    "This moral lesson giving, one-sided, it's just hypocrisy.

    "Who is actually caring about the workers? FIFA does, football does, the World Cup does & to be fair to them Qatar does as well."

  • Jake Sanders

    Opener fast-approaching

    We're now less than 30 hours away from the World Cup opener between Qatar and Ecuador, which takes place on Sunday at 4pm.

    Qatar will play their first ever match at football's greatest show, while the South Americans are participating at their fourth World Cup.

    Will the hosts enjoy a dream start or can the visitors get their tournament off to a flyer?

    Here's everything you need to know about Qatar and Ecuador.

  • Jake Sanders

    Azpi wouldn't swap club trophies for World Cup

    Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta says he wouldn’t swap any of his nine winners’ medals to get his hands on the World Cup.

    The 33-year–old defender is preparing for his third World Cup with Spain and has never gone past the last 16 in his previous visits.

    But that doesn’t mean he would surrender any of his trophies at club level to finally achieve his international ambitions.

    Azpilicueta has won the ultimate clean sweep of Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, Europa League, Super Cup and World Club Cup with Chelsea.

    And he says: “Why would I swap any trophies? I want to get another one and of course I’d love to add this one to my cabinet.

    “I made my debut for Spain against Uruguay here in Qatar in 2013 so it would be a good story for me to win the World Cup here.

    “My last two World Cup experiences were not good but now we have another brilliant opportunity and an amazing group of players in our squad.”

    But Azpilicueta has been getting it in the neck from the England players in Chelsea’s squad and admits: “England are one of the strongest teams in the tournament. 

    “They have shown their progression in the major competitions in the semi-final of the World Cup in 2018 and then the final of the Euros.

    “They have a strong, talented young group.”

  • Jake Sanders

    Davies unlikely to be risked

    Alphonso Davies could miss Canada's opener against Belgium on Wednesday following an injury sustained earlier this month.

    The Bayern Munich star suffered a hamstring injury on 5 November and missed the warm-up game against Japan.

    Manager said John Herdman, 47, said: “It is about rolling the dice.

    "We need to get this right as this could be a long tournament for us. The last thing I want is for him to miss it.

    “My mission is that he plays at a World Cup and not put him in a position where he is unsafe.”

  • Jake Sanders

    Kane to wear OneLove armband

    Harry Kane will wear the One Love rainbow armband in England’s World Cup opener against Iran on Monday.

    Last month, it was confirmed the England captain was preparing to wear it in support of a campaign against discrimination despite the possibility of a fine from Fifa.

    An FA spokesperson said: “We respect Fifa’s armbands, but we are committed to the One Love armband.”

  • Jake Sanders

    Bierhoff slams alcohol ban

    Ex-Germany international Oliver Bierhoff has criticised the decision to ban beer from World Cup stadiums.

    When asked about the decision, he said: "This could only have come from an English journalist.

    "I don't know if we are second to you in beer drinking. Maybe we are catching up fast?

    "It is a very short term decision with just a few days left. It is very hard to accept at this very late stage.

    "Unfortunately beer will not be drunk in the stadiums and beer belongs to tournaments and football in general."

  • Jake Sanders

    Harry's in a class of his own

    Graeme Souness reckons Harry Kane is England's only world class player.

    He said: "Harry Kane is a world class player. We’re in a business now where everyone leaves as a club legend and everyone’s a great player, but Harry Kane is a world class player.

    “I’ll give you my definition of a world class player. You are world class if you can leave the club you’re at and then can go and play in another team effortlessly.

    "England only have one player that I would put in that category in their squad in my opinion, and that’s Harry Kane.

    “My fear is that other than Harry, where are the goals going to come from? That’s a problem for Gareth [Southgate]. That’s why I would play [James] Maddison – he’s the best out of any attacking midfield player at the moment in terms of getting assist and scoring goals.

    “I think there’s more goals in James Maddison, though. I like him – I met him on holiday in Portugal last year – and he’s got a bit of mischief about him.”

  • Jake Sanders

    Shameful

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino has been giving a press conference of the eve of the World Cup in response to intense criticism of Qatar from Europe.

    He said: "We have told many, many lessons from some Europeans, from the western world.

    "I think for what we Europeans have been doing the last 3,000 years we should be apologising for next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people.

    "Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arabic. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel (like) a migrant worker.

    "Of course I am not Qatari, I am not an Arab, I am not African, I am not gay, I am not disabled. But I feel like it, because I know what it means to be discriminated, to be bullied, as a foreigner in a foreign country. As a child I was bullied – because I had red hair and freckles, plus I was Italian so imagine.

    "What do you do then? You try to engage, make friends. Don’t start accusing, fighting, insulting, you start engaging. And this is what we should be doing."

  • Jake Sanders

    Uruguay have arrived

    1930 winners Uruguay have touched down in Qatar.

    Luis Suarez and co. arrived this morning and will be hoping to make a strong start after some decent showings in recent tournaments.

    The South Americans have reached the knockout stages in each of the last three World Cups and get underway against South Korea on Thursday.

  • Jake Sanders

    Pre-tournament burger

    Jordan Davies is our reporter following USA ahead of their opener against Wales on Monday and he's spotted Christian Pulisic with an usual type of pre-tournament meal.

    Pulisic – nicknamed Captain America – does not seem to be feeling the pressure after he was seen scoffing a burger and chips in the Souq Waqif area.

    He was alongside States teammates Tim Ream of Fulham and Brenden Aaronson of Leeds enjoying some lunch.

  • Jake Sanders

    Muller boost

    Andy Dillon is at Germany's HQ and has provided an update on the fitness of Thomas Muller.

    Germany have been given a huge boost after he resumed full training today.

    The legendary midfielder has been troubled by a series of injuries all season which includes back problems and a bout of COVID.

    But the Bayern Munich superstar, who has 118 caps, has just taken part in a session with his team mates for the first time since Die Mannschaft touched down in Qatar.

    The four times world champions start their campaign against Japan next Wednesday.

    The sight of Muller training will make Germany's rivals sit up and take notice with the tournament kicking off tomorrow when hosts Qatar take on Ecuador.

  • Kealan Hughes

    Good morning football fans!

    World Cup fans were hit with a stadium BOOZE BAN yesterday as FIFA buckled under pressure from the Qatari authorities.

    Despite months of promises that beer and other alcoholic drinks will be available at the eight World Cup venues, SunSport can confirm that NO booze will be sold at all in any of them.

    And it means that the only official World Cup site where fans can have a drink will be the Doha city centre official Fan Festival – selling just Budweiser at almost £12 for less then a pint.

    Even as late as Thursday, FIFA had promised that fans could buy drinks inside stadiums on match days but not between kick-off and the final whistle.

    But that policy was scrapped after Qatar’s Supreme Committee put the squeeze on FIFA – although it will cost the world governing body millions of pounds in compensation to official beer sponsor Budweiser and parent company InBev

    England sponsors Lucozade has pulled all its branding from the World Cup in a snub to Qatar.

    The drinks maker says its bottles will not be seen at matches, in training or at press conferences following rows over the Gulf state’s brutal laws.

    Harry Kane and teammates will still be given drinks but they will carry no branding or logos.

    England boss Gareth Southgate will be hoping for nothing but a good result in the Three Lions’ World Cup opener.

    But he goes into the game without Kyle Walker for Monday’s World Cup starter against Iran.

    Midfielder Kalvin Phillips is also unlikely to be ready for a starting role.

    Both players could be in contention for the Three Lions’ second game with the USA on Friday November 25.

  • Alex Cole

    Shaw thing for Luke

    Luke Shaw has made the bizarre revelation that he has a tattoo of the Coco Pops monkey on his left arm. 

    The England and Manchester United left-back is in Qatar preparing for the World Cup as the national team looks to end 56 years of hurt.

    Shaw, 25, says the image of the popular cereal-selling primate is a tribute to his two-year-old son Reign.

    The goalscorer in the Euro 2020 Final told the Lions Den YouTube channel about the unique ink.

    He said: “My son is obsessed with Coco Pops, he has a lot of them in the morning, I thought it would be quite cool because he is interested in my tattoos.”

  • Alex Cole

    Southgate’s spot-kick practice

    Keeper Aaron Ramsdale, 24, revealed: “It can become detrimental if they are taking them against goalkeepers because we then start to know where they are going.

    “If I know where you are going seven times out of ten and I start cheating and going early and start saving them, you might start worrying about it.

    “We have something which is called a skills net where the corners are open.

    “At the moment the lads are just working on technique.

    “Everybody can take penalties, it is just those fine pressure-margins which we can’t recreate out there unfortunately.”

    Southgate’s attention to detail helped the Three Lions beat their spot-kick hoodoo in the last-16 win over Colombia at the last World Cup.

    It was their first penalty shootout triumph in a World Cup — at their fourth attempt.

  • Alex Cole

    Ramsdale reveals England penalty prep

    England are practicing penalties WITHOUT goalkeepers in a bid to avoid more shootout heartache, reveals Aaron Ramsdale.

    Gareth Southgate does not want his stars’ confidence plummeting because his keepers are saving too many in training.

    So the Three Lions, who agonisingly lost the Euro2020 final on penalties to Italy, are training for spot-kicks using a skill net that forces players to hit corners.

  • Alex Cole

    Maddison could be the game-changer for England, says Cole

    Joe Cole believes James Maddison has the “personality” to be a World Cup game-changer for England.

    The former Three Lions star said: “The big one for me was James Maddison. Form-wise and quality-wise he should be playing, but also because of his personality – he’s an England player.

    “He won’t shirk the responsibilities; he’ll get on the ball.

    “There will be times later in the tournament when the game might be in the balance and you need to be brave and accept the ball as a midfield player and he will do that.

    “You can play number 10s deeper now and we need to set the tempo of our games. I’m so happy he’s in.”

  • Alex Cole

    Three Lions open with Iran

    England boss Gareth Southgate will be hoping for nothing but a good result in the Three Lions' World Cup opener.

    But he goes into the game without Kyle Walker for Monday's World Cup starter against Iran.

    Midfielder Kalvin Phillips is also unlikely to be ready for a starting role.

    Both players could be in contention for the Three Lions' second game with the USA on Friday November 25.

    And the duo will certainly be anxious to be at peak fitness in time for the group finale with Wales the following Tuesday.

  • Alex Cole

    Ronaldo puts aside United qualms for Portugal

    In the second part of the incredible interview released yesterday, Ronaldo shockingly revealed he wants bitter rivals Arsenal to clinch the title if United can’t.

    That was after stating that he believes his side are three years away from challenging themselves.

    But for at least the next fortnight the superstar is focused on trying to land the one crown that has so far evaded him.

    Portugal kick-off their World Cup campaign next Thursday against Ghana.

    They then face Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.

  • Alex Cole

    ICYMI – Qatari authorities stamp booze ban on World Cup games

    World Cup fans will be hit with a stadium booze ban today as FIFA buckles under pressure from the Qatari authorities, writes SunSport’s Martin Lipton and Nick Parker.

    Despite months of promises that beer and other alcoholic drinks will be available at the eight World Cup venues, SunSport can confirm that NO booze will be sold at all in any of them.

    And it means that the only official World Cup site where fans can have a drink will be the Doha city centre official Fan Festival – selling just Budweiser at almost £12 for less then a pint.

    Even as late as yesterday, FIFA had promised that fans could buy drinks inside stadiums on match days but not between kick-off and the final whistle.

    But that policy was scrapped after Qatar’s Supreme Committee put the squeeze on FIFA – although it will cost the world governing body millions of pounds in compensation to official beer sponsor Budweiser and parent company InBev

  • Alex Cole

    More on Ronaldo touching down in Qatar

    CR7 and his international colleagues were suited and booted as they landed at Hamad International Airport on Friday.

    Ronaldo, 37, missed last night’s 4-0 friendly victory over Nigeria due to a stomach bug.

    However, he showed no ill-effects as he looked a picture of concentration in front of the camera upon arrival in the Middle East.

  • Alex Cole

    Ronaldo ARRIVES in Qatar

    Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived in Qatar with his Portugal national teammates.

    The 37-year-old icon has more or less severed ties with “disrespectful” Manchester United.

    But his focus is now on World Cup preparations.

  • Alex Cole

    Son reportedly fit for South Korea

    Son Heung-Min WILL be fit for Korea’s World Cup opener against Uruguay – according to one of his closest pals in football.

    The Spurs has been training in a specially adapted face mask after suffering a fractured eye socket in a Champions League clash with Marseille a couple of weeks ago.

    He was only able to rejoin his team-mates for anything approaching a full session earlier this week and it is still far from certain that he will be risked in Thursday’s Group H opener against the South Americans.

    Yet Korean legend Koo Ja-Cheol, who is working in Qatar as a TV pundit for his homeland, insists it is unthinkable that his big buddy will not be in the line-up.

    Ja-Cheol, who won 76 caps before his international retirement in 2019, said: “He plays with such passion that I don’t think anyone would be able to stop him.

    “He never wants to miss out and although he’s not been able to do any heading yet, he will push himself very hard. I expect him to start.

    “With the mask it’s uncomfortable of course, it wouldn’t be 100 per cent condition. But from what I know of him that’s the way it will be.

    “Look, we need to score – I think we will need two to win and who can score for Korea? Everyone says Sonny."

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