Fifa World Cup: England and Netherlands to arrive in Qatar today

England team, spearheaded by striker Harry Kane, head to Qatar seeking to go one better than four years ago when they lost in the semifinals



England coach Gareth Southgate is ready for the World Cup challenge. (England Twitter)
England coach Gareth Southgate is ready for the World Cup challenge. (England Twitter)

By AFP

Published: Tue 15 Nov 2022, 5:24 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Nov 2022, 5:25 PM

England and the Netherlands will be the first World Cup heavyweights to arrive in Qatar on Tuesday as Fifa President Gianni Infantino again urged teams to focus on the football.

Fifa launched its "Football Unites the World" campaign with a video featuring star players including Neymar, Karim Benzema and Edouard Mendy.

Infantino said: "Although football is and should be our main focus, the FIFA World Cup is also about values and causes that extend far beyond the pitch and we are delighted that football stars past and present have joined us to promote and highlight these topics, which also unite the whole world."

Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup finals but Fifa barred the Russian team from the qualifying play-offs for Qatar in response to their conflict with Ukraine.

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Gareth Southgate's England team, spearheaded by striker Harry Kane, head to Qatar seeking to go one better than four years ago when they lost in the semifinals and end a 56-year wait to win the World Cup.

The Netherlands, coached by Louis van Gaal, are also due to arrive.

Denmark's coach Kasper Hjulmand said his team would focus on football once they arrive in the Gulf state on Tuesday, after Fifa rejected the country's request to wear special jerseys advocating human rights at training.

Jakob Jensen, CEO of the Danish Football Association said: "The players are here to play football, they're dreaming of winning the World Cup. They should be able to focus on playing."

The 2022 edition is the first World Cup to be held in the middle-east region. New stadiums have cost more than $6.5 billion and a driverless metro system with a price tag of $36 billion serves five of the eight venues.

Some estimates put total infrastructure spending over the past decade at $200 billion.


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