World Cup LIVE – Qatar chiefs make another late U-turn

Aaron Ramsdale World Cup preview press conference

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It’s all systems go in Qatar as the 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup gets underway on Sunday afternoon. Travelling fans have been subjected to late U-turns from organisers and more appear to be on the horizon as Gareth Southgate prepares England for their group-stage opener against Iran on Monday.

Thousands of fans are already getting comfortable in Qatar with the long wait for football’s most prestigious international tournament almost over. The host nation will take on Ecuador in Sunday’s standalone fixture, with the World Cup set to be in full swing by Monday. 

There has already been controversy surrounding Qatar’s alcohol policy, with a complete stadium ban on purchasing beer introduced at the last minute. That has left FIFA in a tricky position with tournament sponsor Budweiser, who face reduced visibility after pressure from the Qatari royal family. 

Meanwhile, former England boss Glenn Hoddle has given his verdict on who could be in line to replace Southgate if things don’t go to plan this time around. Below, Express Sport brings you updates and stories from throughout the day…

Hoddle backs duo for England job

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle has proposed two Gareth Southgate replacements if things don’t go to plan this winter. 

Southgate has been in the job since 2016, taking the Three Lions to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and the Euro 2020 final. However, there is speculation that he could leave if England put together a disappointing run in Qatar. 

When asked who could step in, Hoddle told Express Sport: “There’s two. One’s had a good start and fallen off a little bit but he’ll come again, Graham Potter, and Eddie Howe. I’ve said it all along, one of them will be England manager if they want it.”

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Qatar chiefs make another late u-turn

World Cup organisers have already risked backlash by preventing supporters from buying alcohol in and around stadiums, and it appears that the late changes are not done there. 

A selection of fans from each competing country have effectively been paid to go to Qatar to chant on command and reportedly spread positive messages about their experience. 

The Fan Leader Network scheme has also been labelled the paid-for supporters programme. 

Although their flights and accommodation are supposedly paid for, The Guardian claim that their daily £60 allowance has been cut at the last minute. 

Part of a statement read: “Due to the recent developments in the media, we are keen to protect our visiting fans from the erroneous misinformed statements regarding “fans receiving payment for the trip.”

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