Qatar’s Supreme Committee have prompted FIFA to scrap plans to stage a ceremony before each game of the 2022 World Cup

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FIFA have reportedly made their latest U-turn on the 2022 World Cup by abandoning plans to stage an opening ceremony before every match due to the instructions of Qatar’s Supreme Committee.

Sunday’s dazzling opening ceremony for the entire tournament was fronted by Hollywood legend Morgan Freeman and lasted 30 minutes before Ecuador condemned the hosts to a one-sided 2-0 defeat. FIFA were promptly criticised for hypocrisy and tokenism, particularly when it came to their message that “everyone is welcome” in Qatar, despite the Gulf nation’s abhorrent human rights record and discriminatory social laws.

The BBC refused to show the opening ceremony on their main channel and broadcasters were set to have the same conundrum ahead of every following game until the final on Sunday, December 18. According to the Mail, however, FIFA have now scrapped their plans for similarly lavish ceremonies which had long been planned and meticulously rehearsed.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee are said to have taken over the running of matchday events, resulting in the pre-game showpieces being more limited. Only a brief two-minute ceremony, featuring a large replica World Cup and the flags of the 32 nations competing at the World Cup, will take place ahead of the first match held at each of the eight stadiums in Doha.

Insiders noted that the altered plan could still be subject to a late change – just as FIFA’s decision to sell alcohol on stadium premises was reserved a mere two days before the tournament kicked off. On Saturday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino insisted that he was ‘200 per cent’ in control of the event, despite his organisation’s many compromises since Qatar won the right to host the World Cup in 2010.

“I feel 200 per cent in control of this World Cup,” Infantino during an bizarre press conference in Doha. “Every decision is taken in partnership with the Qatari government. If this is the biggest issue we have for the World Cup, I will sign for it immediately and go to the beach and relax until the 18th of December.

“Let me just assure you that every decision taken at this World Cup is a joint decision. Every decision is discussed and debated and taken jointly. There will be many big fan zones, eight to 10 fan zones, where you can buy alcohol. Up to 100,000 people can simultaneously drink alcohol.”

FIFA also found themselves at the centre of another controversy on Monday morning when seven nations reneged on their plans to support the ‘OneLove’ campaign. Captains from England, Wales, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland were to due express their solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and promote diversity within football by wearing a bespoke armband during their matches.

Now, though, the nations’ respective skippers won’t be wearing the armbands in fear of sporting sanctions. FIFA rules suggest that each captain would receive a yellow card upon entering the field of play wearing the ‘OneLove’ logo rather than the governing body’s standard ‘respect’ armband.

Day 2 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup started with England giving us what should be one of the highest-scoring games of the competition with a 6-2 plastering of Iran.

The tournament got officially underway after the opening ceremony and inaugural match on Sunday, November 20. Ecuador spoiled Qatar’s party by handing them a 2-0 loss, and the result was never in question.

The Netherlands caught up to Ecuador in Group A thanks to a 2-0 win over African champions Senegal. Day 2 then wrapped up with Wales scoring a late penalty to hold the USA to a 1-1 draw.

After Monday’s action there will be four matches per day for the rest of the group stage. Only the top two teams in each group advance to the knockout rounds.

The Sporting News will have you covered here with all the latest World Cup score updates, as well as links to highlights for specific regions.

It’s the biggest day matches wise at the tournament so far, with four games taking place throughout the day. It starts with Lionel Messi’s Argentina taking on Asian heavyweights Saudi Arabia in the early kickoff. Dark horses Denmark then take on Tunisia in Group D action before the evenly matched Mexico and Poland fight it out in a crucial match in Group C. We return back to Group D in the late kickoff as France begin their World Cup defence against a determined Australia.

Below is the list of matches taking place on November 22

The results from those matches will follow below as they come

England got their World Cup campaign off to a fantastic start with an emphatic 6-2 win over Iran, with Bukayo Saka netting twice and captain Harry Kane getting two assists. The Netherlands then left it late to secure victory over a Senegal, with the African side’s keeper Edouard Mendy being at fault for the first goal.

In the final action of the day, a late Gareth Bale penalty for Wales secured them a share of the points against the USA in a 1-1 draw. The USA were strong in the first half and took a deserved leave through Timothy Weah, but the introduction of Kiefer Moore changed the game for Wales and they secured a draw that was a fair reflection of the match, their first in the World Cup for 64 years.

As Group’s E and F get underway, were are beginning to see more and more enticing contests in this group stage. 2018 finalists Croatia have a difficult game against Morocco, before Germany take on Asian powerhouse Japan.

Spain are heavy favourites to defeat Costa Rica, though they are a side who has surprised before, before Canada take part in their first World Cup game for 36 years when they play the late fixture against Kevin de Bruyne’s Belgium, who are looking to better their third placed finish last time out.

The World Cup kicked off in Qatar, after years of waiting, and ESPN has you covered for the world’s biggest sporting event.

We’ve seen the opening ceremony, the pre-game speeches and the musical acts (yes, that was a member of BTS out there!). We’ve seen the first goal disallowed by VAR at the World Cup (well done, Enner Valencia, for being the answer to that trivia question) and we’ve seen the first goals allowed at the World Cup too (again, congrats to Enner Valencia, whose two goals gave Ecuador a win over host nation Qatar.)

Be sure to check in with ESPN throughout the tournament as we bring the latest from Qatar. Let’s get into it.

For the USMNT, it’s imperative they get off to a hot start as England await in their second group game. Wales offer plenty of menace thanks to their talisman, Gareth Bale — who had a few notable cameos during LAFC’s run to the 2022 MLS Cup this season — but the U.S. boast their full complement of stars, led by Christian Pulisic, and will be eager to make up for what they missed out on at Russia 2018. (We won’t mention Couva. We won’t mention Couva.)

Tyler Adams has been named captain, making him the youngest U.S. skipper at a World Cup since Harry Keough in 1950, and they’ve been fortunate in avoiding significant injuries during pre-tournament prep, something that can’t be said about France (Karim Benzema was ruled out Saturday), Senegal (Sadio Mane was ruled out Thursday) or Belgium (striker Romelu Lukaku is already out for their first group game). The U.S. also got good news in the form of defender Sergino Dest and midfielder Weston McKennie passing fitness tests to face Wales.

They also got a timely message from home, courtesy of U.S. Soccer, prior to their first match…

  • England vs. Iran (Group B, 8 a.m. ET): The Three Lions have been the ultimate “nearly-there” team in recent years, finishing fourth at the 2018 World Cup and then second at the European Championships. What can they accomplish this time around? If you’ve heard their new anthem (well, the latest release of their familiar refrain), then “football’s coming home for Christmas,” but they’ll need to start out strong against an Iran side that will show no fear.
  • Senegal vs. Netherlands (Group A, 11 a.m. ET): We presume these two will be the sides to advance to the last-16, but Ecuador’s win over Qatar means that a decisive result for one side here could spell doom for the other. Cody Gakpo is likely to take up the playmaker role in the Dutch attack, and with good reason — read our profile of the next big transfer target here — while Senegal are trying to figure out how to replace injured talisman Mane, who was ruled out of the World Cup on Thursday.
  • United States vs. Wales (Group B, 2 p.m. ET): What more is there to say? The pressure’s on Berhalter & Co. to meet the sky-high hype back home with three points against a Wales side that might be tougher than they look.

Cuff: Bias warning! It has been eight years since watching the U.S. in a World Cup game. I can see this being low scoring. The young attacking talent hasn’t come together in their last few friendlies. Wales is not a dynamic attacking team, relying on brilliance from Gareth Bale or crosses searching for Kieffer Moore’s head. There’s no value in under plays or both teams to not score. The unbiased move is probably Draw +190 or even Wales Draw No Bet +105. But no emotional hedge here — USA to win (+160).

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