One day to go until the World Cup kicks off with Qatar vs Ecuador (20 November, 11am ET)
– World Cup opening ceremony to take place before the opening game (20 November, 9:40am ET)
– France's Karim Benzema ruled out of World Cup with thigh injury   ​​​​​​​
– FIFA president Gianni Infantino in incredible pre-World Cup rant: “Today I have very strong feelings. Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker.”
– Infantino also defends prohibition of beer sales
– Argentina's Lionel Messi unable to train for second day in a row   ​​​​​​​
Uruguay the latest team to touch down in Qatar   ​​​​​​​
WORLD CUP 2022
Infantino says he feels “Qatari, Arab, gay, disabled, a migrant worker”
WORLD CUP 2022
Benzema’s fitness struggle ahead of France’s World Cup campaign
WORLD CUP 2022
Lionel Messi in red-hot form going to Qatar
WORLD CUP 2022
Almada: “I was at the dentist and they called me… You’re going to the World Cup!”
WORLD CUP 2022
Qatar vs Ecuador odds and predictions: Who is the favorite in the World Cup opening game?
WORLD CUP 2022
Qatar World Cup 2022 opening ceremony: what time does it start, who performs?
The curtain comes up at the 2022 World Cup with the Al Bayt Stadium set to host both the opening ceremony and inaugural match as Qatar face Ecuador.
All you need to know about the opening ceremony.
Danish & German captains confirm plans to wear One Love armbands in Qatar
Both Denmark’s and Germany’s team captains will wear One Love armbands when they take the pitch at the World Cup in Qatar.
​​​​​​“I know our captain will be wearing the One Love armband,” Danish midfieler Christian Eriksen said of captain Simon Kjaer at a news conference in Doha. “What the consequences will be, I don’t know, but we’ll see.”​​​​​​​
WORLD CUP 2022
Messi to wear specially commissioned ‘Leyenda’ boots at World Cup
The Argentine striker will sport the new boots for the first time in a competitive game as they face Saudi Arabia in the Group C opener at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
 
Benzema ruled out of World Cup
In what is a major blow to France's title defence, Les Bleus have announced that striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the World Cup with a thigh injury.
2022 WORLD CUP
Landon Donovan believes USMNT will make it to World Cup final
Former US star Landon Donovan has backed the Stars and Stripes to make it all the way to the final in Qatar. 
AS USA's Rodrigo Serrano has more.
All smiles ahead of World Cup opener
Ecuador defender William Pacho (third left) jokes with midfielder Carlos Gruezo (second right) as La Tri train in Doha on Saturday, on the eve of their clash with Qatar in the 2022 World Cup's opening game.
(Photo by Raul ARBOLEDA / AFP)
WORLD CUP 2022
What is the official song for the Qatar 2022 World Cup and who sings it?
We don't simply have one official song this year; no, we have a whole soundtrack of songs. AS USA's William Allen takes a look at the five (and counting) official anthems of Qatar 2022.
WORLD CUP 2022
Messi fitness update: Argentina star misses training again ahead of World Cup opener
AS journalist Aritz Gabilondo reports that Lionel Messi has been unable to train with the Argentina squad for the second day in a row, as the forward nurses a niggle in his Achilles tendon.
Argentina expect Messi to be fine to start against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, however.
Full story
Qatar out to prove they belong at World Cup – Sánchez
Here are some quotes from Qatar head coach Félix Sánchez, whose side open up the 2022 World Cup against Ecuador on Sunday.
“Tomorrow is a historic and important day in Qatari football, and we are ready to prove to everyone that we deserve to play in the World Cup,” Sánchez told reporters.
The Spaniard added: “Ecuador are a very good team with many young and talented players, and they will be a difficult opponent.”
Maluma walks out of Qatar interview
Meanwhile, in the midst of all the World Cup events, more controversy has planted itself in Qatar- as if they didn't have enough. 
Israel's Kan TV planting controversy
Colombian singer, Maluma, is in Qatar following the release of his official FIFA World Cup song “Tukok Taka” with Nicki Minaj and Lebanese singer Myriam Fares. Maluma was doing press ahead of the highly-anticipated soccer tournament when Israel’s Kan TV, asked the singer why he chose to not boycott the Qatar tournament like Shakira and Dua Lipa. 
The “Felices Los 4” singer quickly responded that he wasn’t there to resolve any issues, but rather bring life to the world of soccer through his music. The Israeli, however, insisted on repeating the question, mentioning that the aforementioned singers refused to be a part of this event due to Qatar’s human rights violations. He asked Maluma directly, “Don’t you have a problem with human rights violations in this country?”
That’s when Maluma walked out,calling the Israeli journalist rude. 
It's just surprising how Maluma didn’t ask the journalist what he thought of his country’s own human rights
Winter blasts "out of touch" Infantino
Times journalist Henry Winter has branded Gianni Infantino "out of touch" after the FIFA chief's extraordinary attack on critics of the Qatar World Cup
He’s embarrassed himself, he’s embarrassed FIFA – if that’s possible, with FIFA having a very low bar when it comes to these things," Winter told the BBC on Saturday. "He’s embarrassed football. And his comments about the workers here – I mean, it’s insulting. 
“If you actually look at the European countries that he was singling out, talking about ‘3,000 years of hurt’, to use a footballing expression, at least in countries like the UK, in terms of laws, constitution, culture, we have advanced.
"And I think the scrutiny of the Qataris… It’s illegal to be gay here, and the migrant workers have been treated so poorly – […] you just see how they’re already toiling so hard in the early morning sun. The treatment of them is wrong.
"It’s absolutely right that enlightened countries like the Danes and footballers like the Danes, some of the English, the FA, one or two other countries, and England fans as well, as well as the media, have been highlighting these things. Infantino’s out of touch."
Infantino "dismissing enormous price paid by migrant workers"
Amnesty International has responded to FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s claims that critics of the Qatar World Cup are guilty of hypocrisy and racism.
In a statement, Amnesty’s head of economic and social justice, Steve Cockburn, said: “In brushing aside legitimate human rights criticisms, Gianni Infantino is dismissing the enormous price paid by migrant workers to make his flagship tournament possible – as well as FIFA’s responsibility for it.
"Demands for equality, dignity and compensation cannot be treated as some sort of culture war – they are universal human rights that FIFA has committed to respect in its own statutes.
“If there is one tiny glimmer of hope, it is that Infantino announced that FIFA would establish a legacy fund after the World Cup. 
“This cannot be mere window dressing, however. If FIFA is to salvage anything from this tournament, it must announce that it will invest a significant part of the $6 billion the organisation will make from this tournament and make sure this fund is used to compensate workers and their families directly.”
WORLD CUP 2022
Qatar 2022 World Cup: who are the coaches of each national team?
In this team-by-team profile, AS USA's William Allen takes a look at all 32 head coaches at the World Cup.
Wollacott to cheer Ghana on in Qatar after injury
Ghana goalkeeper Joe Wollacott is to get a chance to go the World Cup after all – but only to encourage his team mates after being ruled out of the tournament in a cruel injury blow.
The English-born goalkeeper, who plays for Charlton Athletic in League One, fractured a finger during the warm-up at Burton Albion last weekend and will not play again for at least six weeks. The injury came just hours after his rival for the number one jersey in the Ghana side, Richard Ofori, had been ruled out with a knee problem, leaving the Black Stars with a goalkeeping crisis. Third choice Lawrence Ati-Zigi, who plays at St Gallen in Switzerland, will take over but Wollacott will be on hand to offer support after successful surgery.
He had an operation which has gone very well and now it’s the rehabilitation process,” said Charlton manager Ben Garner on the club’s website on Saturday. “There’s not much you can do really; it will just be a case of splinting it and keeping it mobile. He’s still due to go out and join Ghana and have that experience. He’s been a key part of them getting there so he fully deserves to go and be out there with the squad and experience the highs and lows of a World Cup.”
Garner said the 26-year-old Wollacott, who started out at his hometown club Bristol City but made his league breakthrough at Swindon Town, had been denied a wonderful opportunity. “I was so disappointed for him over the weekend and for a good couple of days if I’m honest. Having seen Jojo’s progression over the last 16 months or so, it’s been incredible. The talent was there, he just needed the opportunity and he’s taken those opportunities with both hands. He’s had a fantastic season in League Two, he’s become Ghana’s No.1, he’s had a really strong start to life in League One here with us and then he’s about to go to the World Cup so it’s a devastating blow for him. What I will say knowing him is that he’s got a fantastic mentality. He will come back stronger, he will come back better and he will put the disappointment behind him and use it as fuel for the rest of his career.”
Wollacott debuted for Ghana in the World Cup qualifiers a year ago when Ofori was injured and kept goal for the Black Stars at the Africa Cup of Nations finals at the start of the year. Ghana kick off their World Cup campaign in Group H against Portugal in Doha on Thursday.
France skipper will not wear OneLove armband at World Cup
Hugo Lloris will not wear a "OneLove" rainbow armband during the World Cup after receiving no reply from FIFA to the FFF's permission request, L'Equipe reports. Lloris would have been one of nine national team captains to wear the "OneLove" colours at the tournament, even though none of the other member associations have been granted permission to do so. The FFF confirmed that Lloris will not wear the rainbow armband in France's opening game against Australia on Tuesday.
Germany team chief calls beer ban and armband plan "unfortunate"
The timing of a beer ban announced two days before the World Cup start in Qatar this week was unfortunate and would create unease among fans, Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff said on Saturday. Bierhoff also said FIFA's plan to use a number of captains' armbands with different slogans was equally baffling given that Germany and some other European nations would wear their own anti-discrimination 'One Love' armbands to promote inclusion.
For years, Qatar's tournament organisers had said alcohol would be accessible to fans at the tournament, but world soccer's governing body FIFA made a last-minute reversal on Friday, two days before Sunday's kickoff. The Qatar World Cup is the first to be held in a Muslim country with strict controls on alcohol, the consumption of which is banned in public.
"This is indeed an issue," Bierhoff told a news conference. "It is what I have said also about planning in relation to the captains' armbands. Such a short-notice decision (on beer) is unfortunate and creates unease. Drinking beer is a part of the tournament but I cannot really understand the decision and the timing because there was enough time to take such a decision earlier".
Bierhoff said he was equally surprised by FIFA's latest armbands plan, unveiled earlier on Saturday, again criticising the soccer body's short-notice announcement. "I heard about that and the short notice is a bit surprising and it's as if FIFA does not have a clear position," Bierhoff said. "We have a clear position. I will see how this develops and we will discuss with the other nations from Europe. We expect to be allowed to wear the (One Love) armband".
Several nations are planning to wear the armband to send a message against discrimination. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.
Antonio Rüdiger and Thomas Müller should be available for Germany
Good news, though, for Germany. Both Antonio Rüdiger and Thomas Müller have shaken off recent knocks and are back in full training before Die Mannschaft's first World Cup game against Japan on Wednesday. 
Canada's Alphonso Davies training alone
Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies is expected to be Canada's key man at this World Cup but he's not at 100% fitness because of a muscle injury. He's been doing some tailored training away from the rest of his teammates as they get ready for their first game against Belgium on Wednesday.
Will he be fit?
Uruguay have arrived in Qatar!
This'll surely be the last World Cup for Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez (both 35 years old).
Uruguay are in Group H with Portugal, Ghana and South Korea. How far can they go?   ​​​​​​​
WORLD CUP 2022
Almada: “I was at the dentist and they called me… You’re going to the World Cup!”
From the dentist to the World Cup!
A lovely tale here from late Argentina call-up Thiago Almada. Definitely beats the 'I-thought-it-was-my-friend-winding-me-up' phone call story. 
WORLD CUP 2022
Benzema’s fitness struggle ahead of France’s World Cup campaign
Things are not looking great for France and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. He's still not over the hamstring issue that's been troubling him for a month.
Could he miss the defending champions' opener against Australia?   ​​​​​​​
WORLD CUP 2022
Infantino says he feels “Qatari, Arab, gay, disabled, a migrant worker”
We start the day with this astonishing interjection (I think it qualifies as a 'rant') from FIFA president Gianni Infantino:
“Today I have very strong feelings. Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel Gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker."
“I’m not Qatari, African, gay, disabled and I’m not really a migrant worker, but I know what it means to be discriminated & bullied. As a foreigner in a foreign country, as a child at school, I was bullied because I had red hair and freckles. I was bullied for that.”
I'm sure I've got your attention. Joe has more right here. 
2022 World Cup: one day to go!
Hello and welcome once again to our 2022 World Cup build-up.
One day to go! Are you excited? 
We'll be keeping you up-to-date with the goings-on from Qatar on the eve of the tournament. Remember that it all gets underway tomorrow with Qatar vs Ecuador, kickoff at 11am ET. 
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?

source

Shop Sephari