A huge TV screen in the fan zone at the World Cup in Qatar ‘mysteriously CUT’ as England players took the knee after being warned not to wear rainbow armbands against Iran
Fans have been left baffled after a large TV screen in a fan zone at the World Cup in Qatar was reportedly cut off when England took the knee just before kick-off in their game against England ‘Iran.
The screen is believed to have blacked out for 10-15 seconds as the Three Lions players took part in the powerful gesture ahead of their 6-2 win at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday night.
Gareth Southgate’s side have reintroduced the knee hold before kick-off after failing to do so in several recent encounters.
The stream was reportedly cut off during the FIFA Fan Festival at Al Bidda Park in Doha – the tournament’s central fan hub – according to The Sun.
It is still unclear whether this was a deliberate decision or a technical error.
England’s Declan Rice (left) and Jude Bellingham drop to one knee ahead of their big win against Iran at the World Cup
Three Lions skipper Harry Kane has reversed his decision to wear a ‘OneLove’ armband after pressure from FIFA
In other dramatic scenes as England took the knee, Iranian players refused to sing their own national anthem.
In recent months, anti-regime and women’s rights protests have taken place across Iran, with thousands arrested and hundreds killed in a huge challenge to the country’s religious leaders.
The dubious ‘technical error’ at the Doha fan center also follows a backflip by the English FA, who banned captain Harry Kane from wearing a ‘OneLove’ armband.
The armbands were designed to promote inclusivity and LGBTQ+ rights, as homosexuality is a criminal offense in the Gulf nation.
England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark all planned to wear the armbands – but then collectively scrapped the gesture after FIFA warned players could be suspended because the armband was not officially sanctioned.
Despite FIFA’s warning, England still opted to take a knee in a bid to send a powerful statement as the world watched.
“We feel we should. That’s what we stand for as a team and what we’ve been doing for a long time,” manager Gareth Southgate said.
“We think it’s a strong statement to go around the world for young people in particular to see that inclusivity is very important.”
England next face the United States on November 26 before their final group game against Wales on November 30.