Cameroon 3 v Serbia 3
Brazil 1-0 Switzerland
South Korea 2-3 Ghana
David Beckham has had to check out of a luxury five-star hotel in Qatar after fans discovered he was staying there during the World Cup.
UK press are reporting the England football legend had been staying at Doha’s Mandarin Oriental until fans became aware of his presence at the $36,000 a night (AUD) hotel.
The Mail Online reported Beckham checked out of the hotel at the weekend, but it was unclear whether he had moved to a more discreet location or left Qatar altogether.
A source told The Mail Beckham was referred to as ‘Sir David’ by staff and has attended England’s two group matches to date.
Beckham was reportedly staying in the Baraha View suite which is located on the hotel’s top floor and comes with its own dining area, private concierge, an open air courtyard, private pool and gym.
Beckham’s reputation has taken a hit during the World Cup due to his role as an ambassador for Qatar.
His ties to Qatar were slammed by LGBTQ community, where he was previously considered an icon.
FULL GUIDE: STATE OF PLAY IN EVERY WORLD CUP GROUP
EARLIER: WORLD CUP STAR FAT SHAMED BY JOURNALIST
Belgian star Eden Hazard was reportedly asked for a selfie by a journalist who fat shamed him during a World Cup press conference.
The awkward exchange took place during a press conference as world no. 2 Belgium builds toward a must-win group match against 2018 runner-up Croatia.
In a video which has been translated to English, the journalist says:
“We noticed that you have gained a little weight.”
A visibly surprised Hazard replies: “Can you repeat?
The reporter then asks: “Recently, we noticed that you have gained weight. How are you dealing with this and what caused it?
Hazard replies: “No that’s not true. My weight has remained stable. I always work hard on my fitness and I think that’s the most important thing.”
According to reports from Belgium, the same reporter asked for a selfie after the press conference but was turned down.
Hazard’s form and fitness has been under the microscope since moving from Chelsea, where he was regarded as one of the best attackers in the world.
Belgium is third in Group F with one match remaining after a shock 2-0 loss to Morocco.
Last year, a journalist was reportedly kicked off Spanish television for calling Hazard “fat”.
In Marc, 2021, The Sun reported Hazard told L’Equipe: “(My weight?) I don’t hide it. When I am on vacation, I am on vacation. “I am someone who takes weight fast and loses it fast.
“When I was in Lille at 18, I weighed 72 kilos. Afterwards, I gained muscle mass up to 75 kilos.
“On a bad day I weigh 77 kilos, but weighed 80 this summer. I lost everything in 10 days.”
There are conflicting reports about which country the journalist who asked the question was from.
12.25PM WORLD’S BEST PLAYER COULD MAKE STUNNING QATAR RETURN
Tom Barclay, The Sun
Karim Benzema could make a sensational recovery to play at the World Cup.
France were dealt a blow on the eve of the tournament when he withdrew from the squad with a thigh injury that was estimated to keep him out for three weeks.
But sensational reports from Spain have suggested the Real Madrid star may be recovering quicker than expected, and could rejoin the squad at a later date.
Benzema was never replaced so could technically link back up with Les Bleus, but French sources are playing down the likelihood of it actually happening.
Meanwhile, Jules Kounde has promised not to rein it in against Tunisia – despite the risk of suspension.
France have already qualified from Group D after beating Australia and Denmark and will likely rotate their squad against the Tunisians.
EARLIER: CHILLING THREAT TO IRANIAN WORLD CUP STARS
The families of Iranian players have been threatened with torture and imprisonment if they do not “behave”, a damning CNN report claims.
The report claims Iranian players were forced to meet with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps after they refused to sing the national anthem before their World Cup match against England.
It states Iranian players were promised presents and cars before the game against England, which they lost 6-2.
But players and their families have since faced threats after their refusal to sing the national anthem, the report said.
A source told CNN: “In the last game against Wales, the regime sent over hundreds of these actor supporters in order to create a false sense of support and favor amongst the fans. For the next game against the U.S, the regime is planning to significantly increase the number of actors into the thousands.”
Iran has been rocked by civil unrest and deadly protests after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by police.
The players sung the national anthem before their second group match against Wales.
The CNN report claims Iran coach Carlos Queiroz had met with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard separately to his players.
Iran has also called for the USA to be kicked out of the World Cup after a social media post in which it changed the Iranian flag in a show of support for protestors.
Iran’s domestic turmoil has dominated headlines at the World Cup.
The country can secure its place in the last 16 with a victory against USA.
11.15AM FRENCH STAR TO BE FINED FOR MEDIA SNUB
Tony Robertson, The Sun
Kylian Mbappe is set to be hit with a fine after refusing to speak to the press despite winning the Match of the Match award against Denmark.
FIFA rules state a player who wins the Man of the Match award must be prepared to talk to the media after the game.
However, Mbappe refused to speak to the press after his match-winning brace against Denmark and is now likely to face action.
The Paris Saint-Germain ace also refused to speak to the press following his nation’s 4-1 win over Australia.
Mbappe and the French Football Federation (FFF) were warned about the consequences of it happening a second time.
And according to ESPN, the FFF will now share the incoming fine with Mbappe.
Instead of Mbappe, France captain Hugo Lloris was joined by compatriots including Matteo Guendouzi, Aurelien Tchouameni, Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembele, Raphael Varane and others in the press zone.
Both Mbappe and the FFF are aware of the speculation regarding Mbappe’s club future.
And this could be the reason behind the 23-year-old’s refusal to speak to the press in the first place.
He is said to be unhappy at PSG after being unable to have the amount of control in club decisions as he was promised when he signed his new deal.
10.40AM FERNANDES THOUGHT RONALDO HAD SCORED
Bruno Fernandes said he thought Cristiano Ronaldo had scored Portugal’s opener in their 2-0 win over Uruguay on Monday even though he was credited with the goal.
The Manchester United midfielder’s cross towards Ronaldo flew straight in but the veteran striker was a whisker away from making contact with the ball.
Fernandes added the second from the penalty spot late on after Uruguay were penalised for handball and he was chosen as man of the match.
The win guaranteed Portugal’s progress to the last 16 in Qatar. “I celebrated as if it had been Cristiano’s goal, it seemed to me that he had touched the ball, my aim was to cross the ball for him,” Fernandes said.
“What’s important is that we were able to go to the next round and (secure) a very important win against a very tough opponent.” Fernandes warned that Portugal would have to be at their best in their final group match on Friday against South Korea, with a point enough to guarantee them top spot in Group H.
“We know we will find a very organised team in front of us with a huge skill-set, as we’ve seen in their last matches,” added Fernandes.
“We’ve played at different times and that has allowed us to watch South Korea play. Our objective is to win every match, and we have one ahead of us.” Portugal coach Fernando Santos chose to praise the whole team instead of focusing on Fernandes.
“I think it’s the result of the team’s work,” said Santos. “If the team does not play well then the player himself will not have a good performance.
“I think in the first two games, the team has played well. Diogo Costa (the Portugal goalkeeper) saved two important shots, so I don’t think we should be focusing on individual players.”
10:08AM SOCCEROO’S DEVASTATING ACL NEWS
Martin Boyle has opened up on the devastating injury which ended his World Cup dream, making the extraordinary revelation that he may have been playing with a damaged ACL for the past seven years.
While the Socceroos are preparing for their most important match in 16 years, a clash against Denmark which could deliver them a first World Cup Round of 16 berth since 2006, Boyle has been relegated to the position of the team’s Official Vibes Manager.
It’s a role the up-beat sparkplug fills with aplomb, but Boyle’s positivity hides the agony he’s experiencing as a result of missing out on football’s biggest stage.
Incredibly, Boyle – speaking for the first time on the devastating injury which ruled him out for 12 months on the eve of the World Cup – revealed the true story behind his plight.
9:35AM A LEAGUE REF PLAYS PART IN PORTUGAL WIN
The A League’s competition is having an effect on the World Cup beyond the Socceroos performances, with referee Alireza Faghani at the centre of a contentious decision in this morning’s Portugal-Uruguay blockbuster.
Faghani, who moved to Australia from Iran three years ago, and has long been regarded as one of Asia’s premier officials, overruled his own on-field decision to award Portugal a penalty late in the second half.
Uruguayan Jose Maria Gimenez stopped himself being nutmegged with his hand. Faghani originally said play on, as the rule states a the ball can hit a defenders hand if it planting on the ground and is propping him up. On advice from VAR Faghani came over to check, and with Gimenez’s hand off the ground when it hit the ball, a penalty was given.
It was harsh, but by the law, correct.
Bruno Fernades buried the spot kick to confirm Portugal’s 2-0 win and confirm progress to the knockout stages.
Faghani is noted for his no-nonsense approach, and he didn’t let any of the many egos on the pitch run the show, including Cristiano Ronaldo, in front of 88,000 at Lusail Iconic Stadium. Former Liverpool and Barcelona striker Luis Suarez did try his luck, protesting the penalty decision vociferously. Faghani just stared him down and moved on.
On the whole the ref’s have come in for praise this tournament with their decisiveness, and clear eye for spotting when players are trying to con them. And when a player does roll around for an age, finally, the correct amount of stoppage time is being added on, which in turn is producing chaotic endings with up to 15 minutes extra.
Portugal’s win over a disappointing Uruguay was Faghani’s second huge fixture of the tournament, after he took control of Brazil’s opener against Serbia, and he’s sure to be in contention for some bigger games to come.
9:12AM DID HE TOUCH IT? ‘DESPERATE’ RONALDO’S AWKWARD GOAL CLAIM
Cristiano Ronaldo has been described as “too desperate” after celebrating a World Cup goal as his own despite him making no contact with the ball.
A stunning cross from compatriot Bruno Fernandes initially looked to have been nodded into the net by the superstar but replays show it didn’t make contact with even as much as a strand of his hair.
He celebrated what he thought was his second goal of the tournament like a madman before the stadium announcer credited Ronaldo’s ex-Man United team-mate.
Needless to say, social media lit up afterwards.
And at fulltime, Ronaldo was captured pointing to the side of his head, appearing to still be complaining about the goal being awarded to Fernandes.
8:50AM STAR KEEPER BANISHED FROM WORLD CUP
Never a dull moment in Qatar and this time it’s a player being kicked out of the tournament with Cameroon’s Andre Onana banished from the squad after a disagreement with the coach.
The Inter Milan stopper was dropped from Cameroon’s matchday squad for an unspecified disciplinary issue, with reports later circulating that the 26-year-old had been sent home before his team fought back from two goals down in an eventful Group G clash.
“The issue is that Andre has now been left out for disciplinary reasons,” coach Rigobert Song said on the matter.
“In a group, you need to expect the rules [to] apply to everybody. And I prefer to ensure that the teams takes precedent over individuals.
“I think [I] needed to make that decision and it was something that had to happen. Everyone who did get picked was capable and those who didn’t want to be part of that, then that can be judged.”
According to reports, Onana did not agree with his coach’s tactic though other outlets suggest he had concerns about Samuel Eto’o’s involvement with the team.
It remains to be seen if he has left Qatar but with Song not willing to rule him out of the clash with Brazil.
“For the time being, I’ve had to wait and we’ll see if he’s going to stay with us,” Song said.
“It’s up to him as well to a certain extent. So, you’re gonna have to agree to respect the rules to perhaps come back into the squad.”
8:20AM QATAR’S BRAVEST MAN
A man with a rainbow flag and wearing a T-shirt with the words “Respect for Iranian Woman” on the back invaded the pitch during a match at the Qatar World Cup on Monday.
The man was on the field for about 30 seconds during the second half of the game between Portugal and Uruguay before being escorted off by security. He also had the words “Save Ukraine” on the front.
Gay rights and the use of the rainbow flag have been a simmering issue at the World Cup in the Gulf state, where homosexuality is illegal.
Captains of seven European teams had planned to wear rainbow-themed anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament as part of a campaign for diversity.
But they backed down over the threat of disciplinary action from football’s governing body FIFA, including yellow cards.
Britain’s sports minister Stuart Andrew will wear the rainbow-coloured armband when he attends England’s clash with Wales on Tuesday.
Fans complained earlier in the tournament that they had been told to remove items of clothing with the rainbow on them.
8AM PORTUGAL ARE THROUGH
A late penalty has secured Portugal’s spot in the last 16 of the World Cup.
A second goal for Fernandes wrapped things up and there was no chance Ronaldo could try and claim that one having been subbed off 15 minutes before the whistle.
7:15AM FANS SICKENED BY SHAMEFUL WORLD CUP SELFIE
A Ghana official attempted to take a selfie with Son Heung-min while he was crying after South Korea’s defeat at the World Cup.
A thrilling Group H clash saw Ghana go 2-0 up – before a quickfire Cho Gue-sung double levelled things up with 30 minutes remaining.
But Mohammed Kudus then netted his second of the game to put Ghana back in front.
And they hung on to secure their first win of this World Cup.
The result leaves Ghana on three points, but South Korea are now facing a difficult task if they wish to qualify for the round of 16 after a draw and a defeat from their opening two matches.
And Tottenham star Son was in tears at the full-time whistle after an emotionally-draining loss.
Yet one member of the Ghana team still had his eyes set on getting a picture with Son – regardless of the South Korean’s deep disappointment.
He came over to the Spurs man and thrust the camera in his face.
Son turned away from the official, before a member of the Ghana backroom staff urged the man to put his phone away.
They then attempted to check on the welfare of Son, but he walked off as it was clear he wanted to be left alone.
Reacting on social media, one person said: “Son is crying and this Ghana coach is taking a selfie with him … bro ”
Another added: “Did that Ghana coach just take a selfie with Son? Shame is actually free.”
A third said: “Nah wanting a selfie with Son afterwards when he’s devastated is crazy. ”
And a fourth added: “Absolutely shameless from that Ghanaian coach taking a selfie while Son crying.”
7:12AM PORTUGAL SCORE!
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating like he’s scored it but his head didn’t touch it, not even a strand of hair made a connection so the goal belongs to Bruno Fernandes.
Stadium announcer confirms the goal to Ronaldo’s teammate – hasn’t gone down well with the superstar.
Small blow to the ego no doubt.
6:45AM WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?
Brazil’s World Cup clash against Switzerland was momentarily suspended when the lights went out inside the stadium. The floodlights at Stadium 974 in Doha suddenly stopped working just as Brazil were about to take a corner on the stroke of half-time.
Luckily they flashed back into life just seconds later to ironic cheers from the crowd.
The game then carried on as normal after the 44,000 seater arena was plunged into darkness.
For a brief moment, the advertising hoardings at the side of the pitch were the only things illuminating the stadium.
In total the lights were out for around seven seconds on the stroke of half-time.
5AM BRAZIL THROUGH WITHOUT NEYMAR
A Brazil side lacking spark without the injured Neymar needed a late strike from Casemiro to edge out Switzerland 1-0 on Monday as the five-time winners secured their place in the World Cup last 16 with one game to spare.
The Brazilians had been frustrated by an obdurate Swiss side at Doha’s Stadium 974 and it looked as if they would have to settle for a point after a Vinicius Junior strike in the second half was disallowed for offside following a VAR check.
But then, with seven minutes remaining, Bruno Guimaraes flicked the ball on to Casemiro just inside the box and the Manchester United midfielder’s volley flew into the net with the help of a slight but significant deflection off Manuel Akanji.
Tite’s side are just the second team to qualify for the last 16 after France and the only side apart from the holders to have won both group matches so far in Qatar.
With six points they will be tempted to rest players for their final Group G game against Cameroon on Friday, when a draw will secure them top spot.
Switzerland, meanwhile, failed to muster a shot on target but remain on course to qualify too, with the 3-3 draw between Serbia and Cameroon earlier meaning a win against the Serbians will take Murat Yakin’s side through and a draw may also suffice.
4AM WORLD CUP THRILLER
Mohammed Kudus scored twice as Ghana beat South Korea 3-2 in a pulsating World Cup encounter to keep their World Cup hopes alive and leave Paulo Bento’s side facing an early exit.
Mohammed Salisu opened the scoring against the run of play midway through the first half at Education City Stadium and Ajax midfielder Kudus doubled the Black Stars’ lead.
But the Asian side, who looked toothless in the first half, roared back after the break, pulling level through a quickfire double from forward Cho Gue-sung either side of the hour mark.
Ghana looked shell-shocked as the Korean fans celebrated wildly but they were back in front in the 68th minute when Kudus finished calmly at the back post after Inaki Williams failed to connect with a cross from the left.
The result takes Ghana into second in Group H on three points. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will have six points and secure qualification for the last 16 if they beat Uruguay in the later kick-off in Qatar.
Despite their efforts, South Korea look likely to crash out of the tournament at the group stage for the third straight World Cup.
3AMBELGIUM SPLIT BY ‘MUTUAL DISTRUST’ AS NATION TURNS ON STAR
Belgium players and press have been split by “mutual distrust” with Kevin De Bruyne in the firing line following defeat to Morocco. The World Cup hopefuls scraped past Canada in their opener thanks to Michy Batshuayi’s first-half goal.
Manchester City’s De Bruyne, 31, incredibly wrote off Belgium’s chances in Qatar due to the squad “ageing”.
What followed was a shock 2-0 defeat to Morocco, leaving Roberto Martinez’s side in third place.
Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen, 35, responded by taking a swipe at De Bruyne following the crucial loss.
He said: “In the end we conceded two identical goals on the set piece, twice at the near post. Balls that should never go in.
“The first time we got away well (disallowed for off-side), the second time not anymore.
“There’s so much going through my mind right now, things I shouldn’t say in the open air.
“I don’t think we created any chances. Where did it go wrong? We probably also attack badly because we are too old, that must be it now, surely?
“We have a lot of quality up front, but so does Morocco, and they came out better today. This is very frustrating.”
The Belgian media also hit out at talisman De Bruyne, with website HLN writing in their headline: “He lost the ball 27 times!”
And De Standaard went one further by saying: “Can someone shake De Bruyne awake?”
Belgium play table toppers Croatia on Thursday knowing only a win guarantees them a spot in the knockout stages.