Today at the World Cup: England start training while Wales feel the heat

England had their first training session (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)
England had their first training session (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

England and Wales began their preparations in earnest on Wednesday, while organisers were forced to deny hiring ‘fake fans’ and apologise to a broadcaster.

Here, the PA news agency looks back on the day’s events at the World Cup.

Settling in

England’s first training session in Qatar took place with all of Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad on the pitch at the Al Wakrah Sports Complex.

The finely-manicured surface was perfected by the Football Association’s own groundsman, who arrived in the country over the weekend to prepare.

Training in later, cooler conditions should ease the players into the change of temperature, with the mercury reaching 33C two hours before the session.

Feeling the heat

Wales, who arrived on Wednesday morning, had to reschedule their training plans because of the excessive heat.

Robert Page’s squad had been due to start daily training sessions at 1.30pm local time.

But they will now train at 4pm local time on Thursday, and it is likely that all future training sessions will be held later in the day.

Aiming high

James Maddison was the first member of the squad to compete against the media in the now traditional darts tournament.

Maddison gave the players an early lead even with a modest score of 18 from his three darts.

‘Fans’ raise eyebrows

Questions were asked about the authenticity of the England fans outside the team hotel.

Organisers “thoroughly rejected assertions” that fake supporters had been employed to greet the teams as they arrived in Qatar.

Media circus

Organisers also had to apologise to a Danish camera crew after security staff mistakenly interrupted a live broadcast.

A crew from Danish network TV2 were in the middle of a piece to camera on Tuesday evening when they were ordered to stop filming.

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