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Women's protests overshadow Iran's 2-6 World Cup loss

Iran's players didn't sing their national anthem and didn't celebrate their goals. In the stands, many Iranian fans showed solidarity with the protest movement that has roiled the country for months.

Iran's World Cup opener Monday against England was not just about football, but the political struggles gripping the Islamic Republic. And for some Iranian women, barred from attending men's football matches at home, it was a precious first chance to see the national team live.

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Iran's players opt not to sing anthem at World Cup

Iran's World Cup players chose not to sing their national anthem in apparent support for anti-government protesters in their homeland on Monday, as European teams ditched rainbow-themed armbands.

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Injury-hit France needs Mbappé even more at the World Cup

With defending champion France missing so many big names through injury at the World Cup, there is even more of an onus on Kylian Mbappé to become the team's leader in Qatar.

He was 19 years old when he took the last World Cup by storm, scoring in the final and becoming a superstar every team in the world would love to have.

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World Cup ticketing app problem delays fans at England-Iran

Problems with FIFA's mobile application for World Cup tickets caused hundreds of fans to miss the start of England's match against Iran on Monday.

Fans said their tickets had disappeared from their phone apps and lines began to form outside the Khalifa International Stadium about an hour before the 4 p.m. kickoff in Doha.

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Messi enters World Cup as Argentina plays Saudi Arabia

Lionel Messi begins his legacy-defining World Cup with a game against likely the weakest opponent the Argentina star will face in Qatar.

On a 36-match unbeaten run, Argentina opens the group stage Tuesday against Saudi Arabia — the second lowest-ranked team at the tournament.

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Top US diplomat in Qatar for soccer, talks amid Iran tension

America's top diplomat landed in Qatar on Monday to take in a World Cup match and hold talks as regional tensions remain high amid Iran's rapid advancement of its nuclear program and nationwide protests shaking the Islamic Republic.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a soccer fan and player himself, will attend as America faces Wales on Monday night at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

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Ronaldo downplays impact of tell-all pre-World Cup interview

Cristiano Ronaldo is unfazed by the drama created by his explosive pre- World Cup interview on British TV and maintained Monday the atmosphere in Portugal's squad was "excellent" heading into the tournament.

The Manchester United striker gave an impromptu news conference at Portugal's training base in the outskirts of Doha where he attempted to quell any concerns his tell-all interview with Piers Morgan published last week had affected squad morale.

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In blockaded Gaza, World Cup fans watch from the sidelines

Hundreds of fans gathered at a sports hall in Gaza City on Sunday, which Qatar prepared for the Palestinian residents of the impoverished territory to watch the World Cup matches for free.

The fans looked attentively at the large screen as the opener game between Qatar and Ecuador kicked off.

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Politics precedes England's match against Iran at World Cup

The political situation back home has been a regular line of questioning for Iran ahead of the team's opening Group B match against England at the World Cup.

Large swathes of people in the country have risen up to protest for women's rights following the death of Mahsa Amini while being detained for allegedly breaking rules regarding head coverings.

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World Cup Viewer's Guide: Qatar loses opener, US up on Day 2

The first World Cup in the Middle East finally began Sunday night with a flashy opening ceremony and a match between Qatar and Ecuador without any beer for sale in the stadium.

The beer ban imposed two days before the start of the tournament was the latest controversial snag for a global event already under scrutiny for Qatar's human rights record and the emirates' push to ready the nation for the most compact World Cup in history.

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