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Gareth Southgate confirms England WILL take the knee before kick-off in World Cup opener

Gareth Southgate confirms England WILL take the knee before kick-off in World Cup opener against Iran after allowing the senior leadership group to make the decision

Gareth Southgate confirmed on Sunday that his England players will take the knee ahead of their World Cup opener against Iran on Monday.

Sportsmail revealed last month that England’s senior leadership group were undecided on whether they would take the knee in Qatar having been allowed to make the decision by manager Gareth Southgate.

The team opted not to do so in the recent Nations League for the first time in two years, but it now appears that they will restore the gesture for the World Cup.

The England players will take the knee during their World Cup opener against Iran on Monday

Gareth Southgate allowed the player senior leadership group to make the decision

Gareth Southgate allowed the player senior leadership group to make the decision

England will be displaying other forms of activism during the Iran game, with captain Harry Kane set to wear a One Love armband promoting inclusivity and LGBTQ+ rights.

Kane could potentially face a fine or even a yellow card before kick off for breaching FIFA’s equipment regulations by wearing the armband.

Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive of the FA, has previously said that England are willing to be fined for wearing the armband as it was ‘really important to show our values’ at the World Cup.

Harry Kane is expected to wear a One Love wristband during England's opener

Harry Kane is expected to wear a One Love wristband during England’s opener

England will be looking to get their tournament off to a winning start on Monday when they face Iran at the Khalifa International stadium.

They began their last World Cup in 2018 with a last gasp 2-1 win over Tunisia and improved as the tournament went on, but fans will be hoping for a more convincing display against Iran.

Carlos Queiroz’s side may be a tougher side than some have given them credit for, though, as they currently sit 20th in the FIFA rankings, just one place lower than Wales.

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