news England and Wales make mark on World Cup on day of off-pitch drama | World News
It was a day that football fans back home had been dreaming of.Wales, in their first WorldCup for 64 years; England, getting their campaign under way with genuine hope of finally
ending 56 years of hurt. 'Tickets disappear from phones' - World Cup latestAnd both can be satisfied with their opening salvos - Gareth Southgate's men thrashing Iran to top the
groupfollowed by Wales fighting back from behind to earn a point against the USA.But this World Cup is anything but normal. There has been more drama off the pitch than on it so
far, and it's not much more than 24 hours old. The decision to ban captains from wearing the OneLove armband - a gesture of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community - came late in the
day, only three hours before England kicked off.The frustration of the English and Welsh managers was clear, but in the end, they felt they were left with no choice. App problems
leave fans stuck outsideMeanwhile, outside the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, thousands of English and Iranian fans were still queuing to get in just 15 minutes before
their game kicked off. The World Cup app had crashed, and with it their digital tickets vanished.Some were left to watch the match on their phones while sat outside on the contest.
Image: Iran and England fans had problems getting into the stadium Immensely brave Iranian protestAnd while the OneLove armbands might have been replaced with FIFA-sanctioned ones,
that did not keep the politics out of the football.England's players took the knee as they had promised to do so, as they did throughout Euro 2020, while the Iranian team refused
to sing the national anthem.It was an immensely brave move, one taken as a team in support of the protests back home. They had told us last week that they had discussed together
what to do, at 4pm on Monday afternoon we found out.They are well-known figures in Iran, a football-mad country just across the Gulf from Qatar. Their stand didn't go unnoticed in
the stadium, and it might not go unpunished when they return.Such a heavy weight on such young shoulders.Read more:Inside protests which have sent Iran to 'verge of explosion'
Image: Iran's players refused to sing the national anthem Wales fans stopped from entering stadiumHours later, more controversy.Wales fans wearing rainbow-coloured clothes were
prevented from entering the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium. Among them was former Wales national football captain Laura McAllister, who wearing a rainbow bucket hat.Now a professor at
Cardiff University, McAllister wrote on Twitter: "So, despite fine words from FIFA World Cup before event, Cymru rainbow bucket hats confiscated at stadium, mine included."I had a