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Dua Lipa hits out at Qatar human rights record in World Cup statement

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Dua Lipa has denied reports she is set to perform at the World Cup 2022 opening ceremony, demanding she won’t visit have country Qatar until their human rights record gets to the next level.

The tournament kicks off a week today and the English artist had been rumoured as performing at the traditional curtain-raiser, along with the likes of World Cup regular Shakira and K-pop superstars BTS.

Qatar’s record on LGBTQ and women’s rights, along with its treatment of foreign workers who helped build the tournament stadia, has long been under the spotlight. This week a World Cup ambassador described homosexuality, which is illegal in the host nation, as “damage in the mind”.

Days earlier a FIFA letter to the member associations asked countries not to talk politics, and rather focus on the football. Speaking to reporters at England’s squad announcement, manager Gareth Southgate, who referenced the impact of the gay players in the Lionesses’ Euro 2021-winning squad over the summer, said it was “highly unlikely” the England group would be following the guidance.

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Dua Lipa has now highlighted her own opposition, writing on Instagram: “There is a lot of speculation that I will be performing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar. I will not be performing and nor have I ever been involved in any negotiation to perform.

“I will be cheering England on from afar and I look forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup.”

Source: EveningStandard
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Football

Brazil vs Switzerland: Confirmed lineups

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At the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday, two European heavyweights who kicked off their 2022 World Cup campaigns in different ways square off, with high-flying Spain facing an out-of-sorts Germany team.

Die Mannschaft, on the other hand, were doomed to one of their most humiliating defeats on the world’s largest stage and now face elimination from Group E, despite the fact that La Roja won their biggest World Cup victory ever.

Line-up

Brazil XI: Alisson, Eder Militao, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Alex Sandro, Casemiro, Fred, Pacqueta, Vinicius Jr, Raphinha, Richarlison

Subs: D.Alves, Éverton Ribeiro, Weverton, Alex Telles, Ederson, Fabinho, Jesus, Guimaraes, Pedro, Gleison, Rodrygo, Martinelli, Antony

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Switzerland XI: Sommer, Rodriguez, Xhaka, Freuler, S.Widmer, Elvedi, Embolo, Sow, Akanji, Rubén Vargas, Fabian Rieder

Subs: Frei, H. Seferović, Shaqiri, Schar, Steffen, E.Fernandes, Gregor Kobel, Jonas Omlin, Eray Cömert, Zakaria, Christian Fassnacht, Michel Aebischer, Philipp Köhn, Ardon Jashari

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What do England, Iran, United States and Wales need to qualify?

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It’s all to play for in Group B heading into the final matchday with all four teams having a shot of progressing to the round of 16.

England could’ve sealed their fate against the US on matchday two, but an excellent performance from the Americans frustrated the Three Lions and means they still have some work to do against Wales on Tuesday night.

Here’s how the four teams in Group B can advance into the 2022 World Cup knockouts.

England at the World Cup so far

England fell flat on Friday night against the US after they produced a stellar performance in their tournament opener.

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The Three Lions’ 6-2 thumping of Iran was followed up by a dull stalemate reminiscent of their bore draw with Scotland at Euro 2020. Still, Gareth Southgate’s side are in a great position to qualify for the round of 16.

What do England need?

England will top Group B with a win and will progress with a draw. A draw should also be enough to win Group B if the US beat Iran.

Only a heavy defeat against Wales (by three or more goals) will see England endure a shock early elimination.

United States at the World Cup so far

The USMNT impressed many with their first-half showing against Wales on matchday one but they ceded control after the restart and were eventually pegged back by a late Gareth Bale penalty.

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An ominous encounter against England awaited on matchday two, but a smart plan from Gregg Berhalter helped the US thwart Southgate’s side. They were the better team in a forgettable 0-0 draw.

What do the United States need?

Simple, the US must beat Iran to qualify.

Iran at the World Cup so far

Politics have been at the forefront of Iran’s World Cup so far and there’s no doubt that played a role in their flat performance against England on matchday one.

Beaten 6-2 and on the brink of elimination, Carlos Queiroz’s side then produced a fantastic display against Wales which ended in a 2-0 triumph thanks to a pair of goals in stoppage time.

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What do Iran need?

Victory against the US will be enough for Iran to qualify. They could also progress with a draw on matchday three if Wales fail to beat England.

Defeat and they go home.

Wales at the World Cup so far

Wales’ first World Cup campaign since 1958 began with a respectable point against the US. After a poor start to the contest, Rob Page’s men rallied in the second half to earn a draw.

However, their bright work on matchday one was undermined by a pitiful showing against Iran. Wales offered very little, and fully deserved to taste defeat despite a spirited defensive effort after Wayne Hennessey was dismissed in the closing stages.

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What do Wales need?

A mini miracle.

First up, Wales must beat England for the first time since 1984 and hope the other game in Group B ends in a draw.



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Club director leaves door open to Chelsea transfer in January

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Dynamo Moscow director Dmitry Gafin has admitted young midfielder Arsen Zakharyan could seal his move to Chelsea in January.

The Blues attempted to sign the 19-year-old during the summer transfer window but complexities involved in dealing with a Russian club left them unable to complete a deal for Zakharyan before the window closed.

Since then, sources have informed 90min that Chelsea have not given up on Zakharyan, who comes with a release clause of around £12.6m, and have remained in contact with all relevant authorities in an attempt to conclude a transfer.

Talks have been held between Chelsea and FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League to try and find a way to work within the current rules regarding dealing with Russian clubs, with Blues co-owner Todd Boehly still very keen to get a deal done.

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

In Moscow, club director Gafin has conceded that talks with Chelsea could reignite in January.

“We cannot rule out the resumption of history with Chelsea in winter, I cannot comment on the information that appears and will appear,” he told TASS.

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Gafin was, however, quick to question claims that Zakharyan has already agreed personal terms with Chelsea, insisting Dynamo Moscow have not given the club permission to speak with the Russia international just yet.

“Regarding his alleged contract with Chelsea, we don’t know anything about this, we did not give permission for such contacts,” he said. “I think this is from the rumour mill.”



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