England players are told they must stay in their hotel ‘bubble’ to avoid Covid

‘No WAGs for a week’: England players are told they must stay in their hotel ‘bubble’ to avoid Covid until after the group games – with wives and girlfriends on HMS WAG cruise ship ten miles away

  • England footballers’ wives and girlfriends are isolating to reduce Covid risk
  • The team celebrated their win against Iran at a luxury hotel in Al Wakra resort
  • Meanwhile, around 12 of their partners are staying on a cruise ship in Doha
  • The ‘bubble’ rule will end after the last group match next Tuesday, it is reported 

England’s footballers are isolating from their partners during the World Cup in Qatar in order to prevent any possible spread of Covid-19, it has been reported.

Around a dozen wives and girlfriends have spent recent days on cruise ship in Doha – ten miles away from the England team’s hotel in Al Wakra resort, where they celebrated their latest World Cup victory.

The ‘bubble’ rule has apparently been insisted upon by manager Gareth Southgate until the last group match is concluded next Tuesday, The Times reports.

The only respite came on Monday following England’s 6-2 win against Iran, when players walked over to their families in the stand.

England captain Harry Kane, 29, hugged the mother of his three children Katie Goodland, 28, while 27-year-old Jack Grealish chatted to his girlfriend Sasha Attwood.

Grealish has praised England’s management for doing their best to make them comfortable throughout their stay in Qatar, with family photographs and players’ favourite aftershaves placed in their rooms.

Around a dozen wives and girlfriends have spent recent days on cruise ship in Doha - ten miles away from the England team's hotel in Al Wakra resort, where they celebrated their latest World Cup victory

Around a dozen wives and girlfriends have spent recent days on cruise ship in Doha – ten miles away from the England team’s hotel in Al Wakra resort, where they celebrated their latest World Cup victory

England captain Harry Kane's partner Kate Goodland, 28, was spotted out and about with the couple's two daughters

England captain Harry Kane’s partner Kate Goodland, 28, was spotted out and about with the couple’s two daughters

Bukayo Saka's partner Tolami Benson (pictured) took a selfie inside a hotel in Doha

Bukayo Saka’s partner Tolami Benson (pictured) took a selfie inside a hotel in Doha

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, 24, said: ‘It’s lovely what the FA and the team behind the team have done for us.

‘We have got a basketball net up which gets played on a lot. There is a big screen around for movies or I’m A Celeb and things like this if the lads are up at that time, and big tents where massages are.’

Ramsdale’s fiancee Georgina Irwin posted a picture on Instagram of the view from her room at the MSC Europa.

England’s demolition of Iran 6-2 in their opening match of the Qatar World Cup on Monday was their strongest ever start to a major tournament – marking a record-breaking afternoon for the Three Lions.

Gareth Southgate’s wonderkids Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka scored three goals at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha. Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish grabbed the other three in a superb performance.

The rout began when Birmingham-born Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Bellingham, 19, sent thousands of fans in the stadium wild – and millions at home – as he rose to nod home after a cross from Manchester United’s Luke Shaw. He made history with the header as he became the second teenager in history to score in a World Cup for England, after Michael Owen against Argentina in 1998.

Jack Grealish made it 6-1 against Iran with a minute to go, doing 'the worm' as a celebration after a promise to a 11-year-old Manchester City fan with cerebral palsy. England would win 6-2

Jack Grealish made it 6-1 against Iran with a minute to go, doing ‘the worm’ as a celebration after a promise to a 11-year-old Manchester City fan with cerebral palsy. England would win 6-2

Jude Bellingham of England celebrates with Mason Mount after scoring their team's first goal as the Three Lions dominated Iran

Jude Bellingham of England celebrates with Mason Mount after scoring their team’s first goal as the Three Lions dominated Iran

1-0: Jude Bellingham nods home England's first goal against Iran

1-0: Jude Bellingham nods home England’s first goal against Iran

Minutes later Saka, 21, smashed home a left foot shot off the crossbar. And then Sterling, 27, blasted in a volley following a cross from captain Harry Kane, effectively winning the game before half time. 

In the second half Saka then grabbed a fourth goal – his second – with an hour on the clock, passing it into the net after a mazy run. He became the youngest England player to score two at a World Cup.

Gareth Southgate’s side would not be able to boast a clean sheet however, Iran striker Mehdi Taremi pegged back England with a fierce strike past Pickford.   

Marcus Rashford scored and restored a four goal advantage to make it 5-1. Jack Grealish then made it 6-1 with a minute to go, doing ‘the worm’ as a celebration after a promise to a 11-year-old Manchester City fan with cerebral palsy. Jack’s sister also has the condition.

Pickford made a superb stop from Sardar Azmoun in the latter stages of 10 minutes of injury time before Iran were awarded a penalty after a VAR check. John Stones was adjudged to have pulled the shirt of Taremi, who then sent Pickford the wrong way to reduce the arrears to 6-2 with the last kick of the game.

The Three Lions could have had at least eight goals. They were denied a clear penalty just three minutes into the game, when Harry Maguire was clearly dragged down in the box. Maguire later headed against the crossbar.

Thousands of Three Lions supporters were in the stadium including the WAGs of the players and David Beckham while millions are watching at home, work or in pubs with high streets across the UK deserted as people settled down for the 1pm match. There were wild scenes at pubs and fanparks across the UK as England thrashed the Iranians. 

But the game was overshadowed by the row with FIFA over Harry Kane’s proposed rainbow armband and ticket woes for fans trying to get into the stadium after the Qatar 2022 app failed.

2-0: Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka then smashed home a shot off the crossbar

3-0: Raheem Sterling then hammered home a volley at the start of 14 minutes of stoppage time

4-0: Saka then grabbed a fourth with an hour on the clock, passing it into the net after a mazy run

4-0: Saka then grabbed a fourth with an hour on the clock, passing it into the net after a mazy run

4-1: Iran's Mehdi Taremi scores his side's opening goal during the World Cup group B match, blasting past Pictkford

4-1: Iran’s Mehdi Taremi scores his side’s opening goal during the World Cup group B match, blasting past Pictkford

England fans at Boxpark in Croydon, London, celebrate after the Three Lions go three goals up before half-time

England fans at Boxpark in Croydon, London, celebrate after the Three Lions go three goals up before half-time

A pair of England fans hug each other at Boxpark in Croydon as they watch England score a goal against Iran in the World Cup today

A pair of England fans hug each other at Boxpark in Croydon as they watch England score a goal against Iran in the World Cup today

England players James Maddison, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish relax with family and friends after the Three Lions' 6-2 victory over Iran today

England players James Maddison, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish relax with family and friends after the Three Lions’ 6-2 victory over Iran today

5-1: Marcus Rashford calmly slots into the net

5-1: Marcus Rashford calmly slots into the net 

Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka of England celebrate following the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium

Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka of England celebrate following the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium

England's Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar

England’s Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar

England DOESN’T wear ‘OneLove’ rainbow armband: Harry Kane is forced to back down over LGBT band as FA says it ‘can’t put players in a position where they face sporting sanctions’

Harry Kane has already been pictured wearing the OneLove armband while training in Qatar, ahead of England's match against Iran

Harry Kane has already been pictured wearing the OneLove armband while training in Qatar, ahead of England’s match against Iran. He now won’t

Harry Kane will not wear the ‘OneLove’ rainbow armband for England’s World Cup opener after the threat of a yellow card proved too much of a risk for the FA.

The armband is a show of solidarity for the LGBT+ community and captain Kane has said he wanted to wear it at kick-off at 1pm. Homosexuality is still illegal in Qatar.

But FIFA has strict rules about apparel that can be worn by players and the armband is not allowed under the code. 

It meant Kane could have faced an immediate booking this afternoon if he walked out wearing the ‘OneLove’ band.

If he wore it again in their second match, the skipper could have been slapped with another yellow, automatically banning him from the third game.

In a statement the Football Association said: ‘We have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armband in FIFA World Cup games.

‘We cannot put our players in a situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play’.

Downing Street said Fifa’s actions over the armband were frustrating.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘We share the FA’s frustration with Fifa’s decision on this which puts players in a very difficult position.

‘It is, ultimately, a decision for the FA.

‘On LGBT rights more broadly, clearly Qatar’s policies are not those of the UK Government and not ones we would endorse. ‘

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England took the knee as they started their first World Cup campaign against Iran in one of the most politically-charged matches in English football history after a row over wearing a rainbow captain’s armband for Harry Kane, which was dropped after pressure from FIFA. 

Kane looked serious as he led the team on to the pitch. The England captain did not wear the ‘OneLove’ rainbow armband after the threat of a yellow card proved too much of a risk for the FA. Alan Shearer said today that Kane had been put in an impossible position ahead of one of the biggest games of his career, but added that he would probably have worn the armband himself.

Kane was wearing the official FIFA ‘No Discrimination’ armband, having removed his England jacket following the national anthems. Loud whistles greeted the Iranian anthem, with the whole Iran team opting not to sing.

The entire England team then took the knee and Harry Kane appeared to raise his fist – but the Iranians did not take part.

Before the goals rained in, England fans were furious by the failure to award the Three Lions a penalty just three minutes into their World Cup opener. 

England had an early corner which was taken by Kieran Trippier and Harry Maguire appeared to be dragged down by Iranian defender Roozbeh Cheshmi. 

Shortly afterwards the match was stopped for 10 minutes after a head injury to Iran’s goalkeeper, who was replaced. Maguire then hit the crossbar with a header as England dominated.

Bellingham would go one better shortly afterwards, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder looping a header home from Luke Shaw’s cross to break the deadlock 10 minutes before the interval.

Saka would double the lead before the break, thrashing home a fine volley from a Maguire header down to banish his penalty miss of last summer.

With the fourth official signalling 14 minutes of added time, England grabbed their third through Raheem Sterling, who finished Kane’s cross after some great build-up from Southgate’s side.

England grabbed their fourth as Saka scored his second of the game, cutting in from the right to curl home.

Southgate’s side would not be able to boast a clean sheet however, Porto striker Mehdi Taremi pulling one back for Iran with a fierce strike past Pickford.

Maguire was forced off in the immediate aftermath of the goal as Eric Dier came on, while Saka, Sterling and Mount were replaced by Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.

Rashford, who like Saka was racially abused after missing from the spot against Italy, had not featured for England since that night but he needed just seconds to make it 5-1 with a cool finish.

Two more of Southgate’s substitutes combined for a late sixth as Wilson ran onto a Bellingham through-ball before unselfishly crossing for Grealish for just his second England goal.

Pickford made a superb stop from Sardar Azmoun in the latter stages of 10 minutes of injury time before Iran were awarded a penalty after a VAR check.

John Stones was adjudged to have pulled the shirt of Taremi, who then sent Pickford the wrong way to reduce the arrears to 6-2 with the last kick of the game.

Fans erupted in cheers of joy as the final whistle sealed an England victory in their first World Cup game.

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