AL WAKRAH, Qatar, 17 November. (Reuters) – England defender Conor Coady said on Thursday that the World Cup in Qatar is certainly much hotter than at home, but it is time for players to embrace the heat and shake it off. minds
England held their first training session in sweltering heat and humidity at their Al Wakrah training base on Thursday, with temperatures in excess of 30C, forcing Wales to postpone training to a cooler evening.
But Coady said there was no point in “thinking too much” about the heat, as it would get them nowhere in the tournament.
“It was tough this morning. It was a long session and we needed it as a team to get used to it, to feel it, to understand it and it’s tough,” Coady told reporters ahead of England’s Group B opener against Iran. on Monday.
“I’m not going to sit here and say it’s not difficult, but we’re professional players. We understand what we’re doing and training this morning was fantastic. It’s a different environment for us.
“It’s something we want to embrace as soon as possible and something we want to enjoy. So we’re going out there to embrace it… I love playing in the sun, we don’t get to go home that often, do we?”
In addition to the heat in Qatar, the country’s treatment of foreign workers, restrictive social laws and LGBTQ rights have also been criticized, raising concerns among many of the teams participating in the tournament.
Coady said he sympathized with LGBTQ fans who decided to boycott the World Cup, saying England wanted every fan to come and push them on, but added they respected Qatar’s rules.
Homosexuality is illegal in the conservative Muslim country, but World Cup organizers have repeatedly said everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or background, is welcome.
“From our own perspective, we really believe that football is for absolutely everyone. That’s what we believe as a team, as people, as players and that’s what we want to focus on,” Coady said.
“We’ve come to a country where we respect the rules and we respect everything that happens in this country. But we stand for what we stand for and we’re going to keep moving forward.”
James Maddison was the only England player to miss training on Thursday, but Coady said the midfielder, who had been out of action since November 12. away from his club Leicester City’s final Premier League game at the World Cup, “everything is fine”.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Doha; Edited by Ken Ferris
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