World Cup 2022 England vs Iran LIVE: Stream FREE, TV channel, team news as Three Lions agree to DITCH armband – updates | The Sun

ENGLAND have arrived in the desert hoping to strike black gold as they get set to take on Iran in their opener.

There is already furore over Harry Kane's choice of captain's armband, with Fifa threatening to book the England skipper in the tunnel.

As a result, England have agreed to DITCH the symbolic gesture.

Gareth Southgate's side last World Cup tournament ended in agony as they lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semi-finals of the 2018 edition in Russia.

But four years on from then, and with a Euro 2020 final appearance in the bag too, Southgate's men are looking to finally overcome the very last hurdle.

Kyle Walker and James Maddison are out of the first game with an injury – so won't feature at the Khalifa International Stadium.

  • Kick-off time: 1pm UK time
  • Live stream FREE: BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website
  • TV channel: BBC ONE
  • England XI: To follow
  • Iran XI: To follow

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Stay up to date with all the latest from England's World Cup opener…

  • Emillia Hawkins

    What is the OneLove armband?

    The OneLove armbands at the Qatar World Cup promote inclusivity and LGBTQ+ rights.

    This comes as Qatar, a country which criminalises same-sex relationships, is hosting the tournament.

    The captains of England, Wales, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland had planned to wear the armbands in a bid to promote greater inclusivity at the tournament.

    However, they have now decided NOT to wear them due to fears of receiving a booking before each game or even somebody physically removing them.

    Credit: Getty
  • Emillia Hawkins

    BREAKING

    Harry Kane, along with the captains of Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland will NOT wear One Love armbands during the World Cup.

    An official statement from the Football Associations of each respective country read: "FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play.

    "As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.

    "We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.

    "We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented – we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the One Love armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed – they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways." 

    Credit: PA
  • Emillia Hawkins

    Mission Possible?

    Gareth Southgate reckons England are on Mission Possible at the Qatar World Cup.

    The Three Lions boss, preparing for this afternoon's opener against Iran, has told his 26-man squad to think big again after losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties.

    Southgate said: "Maybe we've made the impossible just look possible.

    "It's exciting for other people and I can understand that.

    "We want England to be competitive for years to come and I believe our academy system has got that.

    "We have also got some good players and should be competitive for the next six, eight years with this group."

    Southgate has a strong squad to pick from but James Maddison has not recovered from a knee injury, while Kyle Walker is still recovering from a groin problem – although could be back for Friday's USA clash.

    England may go with a back four against an Iran side ranked 20 in the world, one below Wales.

    Southgate added: "We are in the middle of an economic recession and life has been difficult for a lot of our people.

    "We want them to enjoy their football and have a journey with the team that brings some happiness.

    "We have a tough game, though, and the team knows what to expect."

    Credit: Alamy
  • Emillia Hawkins

    Where is today’s game held?

    This afternoon’s match between England and Iran will be held at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar’s capital Doha.

    The stadium was opened in 1976 and can hold up to 45,000 fans.

    The Khalifa International Stadium hosted both the 2019 Athletics World Championships and the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.

    Credit: PA
  • Emillia Hawkins

    Lion Hearts

    England last lifted the trophy in 1966, but will it return to Wembley next month?

  • Emillia Hawkins

    Welcome to England vs Iran

    The day has finally arrived.

    The flags are out. The face paint is on. England are back at the World Cup.

    The Three Lions will kick off their 2022 campaign this afternoon when they take on Iran in the first Group B clash.

    Gareth Southgate’s side are optimistic that they can go one step further than last year’s Euro 2020 success by winning the tournament – so much so that Declan Rice has brought an empty suitcase to Qatar to transport the trophy home.

    Even Iran manager Carlos Queiroz believes England can go all the way. On Sunday he claimed that the Three Lions squad is “a storm of talent” and “the most competitive squad since 1966.”

    He also added: "I worked with the generation of Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and David Beckham but this national team is really different.

    "They have a realistic chance to win any single game which makes them very, very dangerous."

    Meanwhile, England skipper Harry Kane is keeping his feet on the ground. He said: "Iran are going to be a difficult test.

    "Defensively they are very strong and compact. From a striker's point of view it's going to be difficult.

    "I don't think there's going to be loads and loads of chances. As ever, I'll be ready for the ones that do come.

    "Hopefully I will be able to take them and get off to a good start in this tournament."

    A huge day of football is ahead. You don't want to miss this!

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