England began their campaign in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with an emphatic 6-2 win against Iran in the first Group B match on Monday reports Prime Business Africa.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham opened the scoring with a glanced header before Bukayo Saka doubled England’s tally with a decisive shot from the edge of the penalty area.
England went into the break 3-0 ahead following a gorgeous volley from Raheem Sterling before Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish scored in the second-half.
Despite the emphatic nature of the victory, England will be slightly disappointed that they failed to keep a clean-sheet; Porto’s Mehdi Taremi scored a brace for Iran in the second-half.
England captain Harry Kane was expected to wear the rainbow armband in solidarity with a section of fans that seeks freedom of association and sexual orientation but had to drop it as the Three Lions feared stiff FIFA punishment.
In a joint statement alongside teams like Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Wales, the FA expressed dismay at FIFA’s behaviour.
“Fifa has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” they said.
“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 a situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.”
The second Group B match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will hold 8pm Nigerian time on Monday night.
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