FIFA World Cup: England’s Reece James and Budweiser Both Sidelined

England’s World Cup victory in 1966 continues to be a significant part of the country’s identity, and fans believe they deserve another, long-overdue victory in World Cup 2022 in Qatar. They might get it, too, if the sportsbooks’ predictions are right.

Reece James
Reece James
Soccer player Reece James gestures on the field. He won’t be able to play for England due to injury. (Image: Getty Images)

England entered undefeated for the World Cup, which begins on Sunday. Since they finished fourth in the last World Cup and were runners-up in the delayed Euro 2020, it’s time for them to put on a show.

The English need an excellent start against Iran to bolster their confidence. Several teams participating in the upcoming tournament are able to build on one strong player, but England isn’t one of them this time around.

Raising Kane

Harry Kane comes the closest. He landed 51 goals in 75 appearances for England and is undeniably a soccer superstar. Fortunately, he also has the support of a solid team filled with athletes who have been dominating leagues across the globe.

In addition to six goals in Russia in 2018, Kane could break Gary Lineker’s record of 10 goals to become England’s top scorer at World Cup events.

Unfortunately for England, Reece James won’t be part of the squad. The Chelsea defender is out due to injury, joining Kyle Walker, who underwent groin surgery at the beginning of October.

England has a strong history in the World Cup as, in 70 years, it has only failed to qualify three times. It missed the games in then-West Germany in 1974, Argentina in 1978, and in the US in 1994.

On Monday, England makes its World Cup debut against Iran, going in as huge favorites. DraftKings has them at -275, while Iran is getting +1000. If Kane puts on the show soccer fans expect, the team will be one to watch throughout the entire tournament.

The US will be a serious rival to the Three Lions, as England is known. The last time these two teams met, the English took the victory 3-0. DraftKings expects them to do it again, currently giving them -175 against +500 for the Stars and Stripes.

Budweiser, Booze Out of Qatar

There are strict rules for anyone visiting Qatar for the World Cup, but a prohibition on alcohol wasn’t going to be one of them. That has now changed.

The writing may have been on the wall last week when media outlets started reporting that Qatar was forcing beer stands to relocate further away from entrances and other positions. Now, in a statement issued Friday, FIFA announced that Qatar has gone dry.

Budweiser – the only alcohol that was going to be allowed inside the perimeter of the stadium – is gone. Qatar won’t allow beer anywhere around the stadiums, except in certain corporate hospitality areas, despite FIFA’s sponsorship agreement with the global brewery. Bud Zero, the non-alcoholic option, is still on the table.

There are other prohibitions, as well, that visitors need to know. The Qatari Penal Code deems drinking alcoholic beverages in a public place a crime. Violators face a maximum of six months in prison and a fine of up to QAR3,000 (US$819). The same penalty applies to anyone who is drunk on a public road or, who while drunk, bothers others.

The legal minimum age to consume alcohol in licensed venues in Qatar is 21 years. Anyone who provides an alcoholic beverage to a minor or incites him to drink can receive a prison sentence of up to three years and/or a fine of up to US$2,750.

In addition, the law defines gambling as any game in which the probability of winning and losing depends on uncontrolled chance, and in which each party agrees to give an amount of money or profit. These types of activities in Qatar are punishable by imprisonment of up to three months or a financial fine. If the game takes place in a public place, there can be a larger fine or jail sentence.

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