Harry Kane, Eden Hazard face sanction if they wear LGBT+ armband

England captain, his counterpart in Belgium, Eden Hazard and six others may be handed suspensions if they go ahead to wear the OneLove rainbow armband in a mark of solidarity for the LGBT+ community.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Three Lions begin their World Cup campaign against Iran, a Middle East country where homosexuality is still illegal.

FIFA’s strict rules about apparel that can be worn by players indicate that the armband is not allowed under the code, but eight countries have insisted they will use the armband.

Unless FIFA backs down today, the English talismanic striker could face an immediate yellow card this afternoon if he walks out wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband as England take on Iran in their opening match. And if he wears it again in their second match, the skipper could be slapped with another yellow card, automatically banning him from the third game.

Other countries’ captains that may suffer the same fate the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales

Last night there were crisis talks as the standoff continued, but England’s Football Association remained firm on taking a moral stand over wearing the rainbow armband, which is intended to signal respect for gay rights and equality in general.

The latest row comes after the competition got off to a tumultuous start on Sunday as it was officially opened by Morgan Freeman in a spectacular opening ceremony.

The start to the tournament dissolved into something of a farce on Sunday evening after a series of controversies in recent days, including a last minute alcohol ban, a largely empty stadium for the opening ceremony and thousands of people involved in a crush to enter FIFA fan zones.

World Cup European Play-Off draw: Either Italy or Portugal will NOT qualify for the 2022 World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal must overcome Turkey and then either Italy or North Macedonia to secure a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after Europe’s play-off draw was made on Friday.

The nature of the draw means that it is impossible for Portugal and Italy, who have won the last two European Championships between them, to both now qualify for the World Cup.

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This is the second stage of the European section of the qualifying process, with 10 countries from the original group stage already assured of their place at next year’s finals.

The 10 group winners, including England, France, Germany and Belgium, automatically booked their ticket to Qatar. The 10 group runners-up, plus the two best countries from the last UEFA Nations League campaign who failed to finish in the top two, get another chance for the last three places.

The process has been split into three mini-tournaments – paths A, B and C – with the winner of each securing one of those last coveted European places at the World Cup.

No frills, no complications…a one-legged semi-final and one-legged final is all that stands between three of these 12 countries and a trip to Qatar next winter.
All six semi-finals are to be played on 24 March 2022, with each final to follow on 29 March.

2022 World Cup play-off draw – Europe
Path A
Scotland vs Ukraine – 24 March 2022
Wales vs Austria – 24 March 2022
Final – Wales/Austria vs Scotland/Ukraine – 29 March 2022
Path A winner qualifies for the 2022 World Cup
Path B
Russia vs Poland – 24 March 2022
Sweden vs Czech Republic – 24 March 2022
Final – Russia/Poland vs Sweden/Czech Republic – 29 March 2022
Path B winner qualifies for the 2022 World Cup
Path C
Italy vs North Macedonia- 24 March 2022
Portugal vs Turkey – 24 March 2022
Final – Portugal/Turkey vs Italy/North Macedonia – 29 March 2022
Path C winner qualifies for the 2022 World Cup

Portugal and Italy have been drawn into the same World Cup Playoff group which means only ONE can advance to Qatar 2022.

Scotland will face Ukraine in their 2022 World Cup play-off semi-final, with Wales facing Austria in Cardiff.

Should both teams win, they will play each other for a place at the World Cup.

Premier League reveals 2022/23 dates with World Cup break: pause in mid-November, resume 8 days after World Cup

The next season of Premier League is to begin on 6 August and will be adjusted to accommodate FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – there will be a mid-season break between 14 November and 26 December to accommodate the FIFA World Cup

2021/22 Nike Flight match ball

The Premier League 2022/23 season dates have been confirmed.

The season has been adjusted to accommodate the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which will take place in the middle of the domestic calendar.

The Premier League season will start on 6 August 2022.

Match round 16 will be the last set of matches played over the weekend of 12-13 November ahead of the call-up period for the tournament beginning on Monday 14 November. 

The League will resume on Boxing Day following the FIFA World Cup Final, which takes place on Sunday 18 December 2022.

The final match round of the campaign will be played on 28 May 2023, when all games will kick off simultaneously as usual.