World Cup 2022: Morocco set to make history against France in the semi-finals– in person

One of the great things about the cutting edge of this World Cup now is whoever wins it from here, the narrative is phenomenal.

Argentina? Messi finally gets the World Cup winner's medal. La albiceleste are back on top of the world for the first time since 1986 in their first World Cup since Maradona's death. Lionel Scaloni came as a coach from nowhere to lift the biggest prize. Thinking of the look on Cristiano Ronaldo's face when Messi lifted the trophy.

France? Mbappé crowned his youth career with a winners' medal. The country became the first team to defend the World Cup since Brazil in 1962. Didier Deschamps won it twice as coach, plus winning it as a player. Olivier Giroud, World Cup winner.

Morocco? The first world soccer champion from Africa, has gone through one of the hardest routes you will ever have. The powerhouse defense that faced Croatia, Belgium, Spain and Portugal without conceding a goal then beat France. Yassine Bounou's heroics in scoring. Fans. Mothers. Children.

All of this would make for a great, great football story.

The things you don't want to do the day after losing a World Cup semifinal? I'd say press conference, judging by the expression on Zlatko Dalić's face here.

BBC TV presenter, golden boot winner and potato snack supporter Gary Lineker has spoken about awarding the tournament to Qatar on The News Agents podcast, reports the PA.

Qatar 2022 Secretary General Hassan Al-Thawadi has criticized the BBC and Lineker for their coverage of the opening match which Al-Thawadi said did not present a "balanced view". The BBC abandoned the opening ceremony of the World Cup entirely in favor of airing a news package critical of Qatar. Lineker said:

We pointed out the facts at the start of the tournament – the facts stay. Many people died making the stadium. Yes, the stadium is amazing, probably the most beautiful I've ever seen, but at a great price.

Homophobia is a problem here, women's rights are a bit of a problem here.

For me, it's always been more about the corruption side of things because, as I said before, I think almost every country, including ours, has problems. We're going to America in four years time, with Canada and Mexico, but obviously America is an incredibly racist country, so there's always going to be problems.

But it's more due to the fact that we've just shown some facts and especially aspects that are so corrupt – they say it's going to be summer and it's going to be winter.

Asked if his views had changed since arriving in Qatar, the former England striker who played at the 1986 and 1990 World Cups said: “I don't think anything has changed in particular. It's an amazing tournament but that's football; football is a wonderful sport.”

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