FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 17, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 17, 2018

FIFA WORLD CUP 2018

ALEXANDER-ARNOLD IN; HART, WILSHERE AXED

Trent Alexander-Arnold has been included in England's squad for the World Cup as Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere were the big-name casualties of Gareth Southgate's youth revolution.

The England manager confirmed on Wednesday that, as widely anticipated, he had omitted both on-loan West Ham goalkeeper Hart and Arsenal midfielder Wilshere were not in his squad for the World Cup in Russia.

But 19-year-old Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold will be on the flight to Russia as Southgate has opted for a youthful selection in what he hopes will prove a bold new era for the under-achieving national team.

The 23 players averages just 19 caps, making them England's least experienced World Cup squad since 1962.

Southgate named Burnley's Nick Pope, at 26 the oldest of the three goalkeepers, in place of Hart and called up Manchester City's Fabian Delph, who can play at left-back or in midfield, to take over from Wilshere.

The most capped player, with 52 appearances, is Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, at 32 the second oldest member of the squad, who was included despite missing out in recent friendlies, while there was no place for Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana, who has recently returned from a long hamstring injury lay-off.

Chelsea's young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has earned selection after an impressive season on loan at Crystal Palace.

ENGLAND FANS WARNED OVER FLAG-WAVING

Police chiefs have urged England fans attending the World Cup not to display the flag of St George over fears it will be seen as antagonistic to their Russian hosts.

Mark Roberts of the National Police Chiefs' Council is heading to Russia with a team of fellow officers to work with their Russian counterparts to protect up to 10,000 England fans.

"I think people need to be really careful with flags. It can come across as almost imperialistic... and can cause antagonism," Roberts, the national lead for football policing, told Britain's Times newspaper.

"We really urge some caution about people putting flags out and waving them about in public.

"We would not expect people to come across to this country, get drunk and drape flags on the Cenotaph (the memorial to Britain's national war dead) so we need to extend the same courtesy when we go abroad."

After Russian hooligans attacked England fans in Marseilles in 2016, they posted photos of dozens of "captured" St George's flags, the report said.

Roberts warned fans to be particularly careful in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, which hosts England's opening game against Tunisia on June 18.

GUERRERO HITS OUT AT DOPING BAN 'INJUSTICE'

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero on Tuesday hit out the "injustice" of a 14-month doping ban that has ended his dream of appearing at the World Cup in Russia.

"I'm a victim of injustice," said Guerrero in Lima Tuesday, a day after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland increased a six-month ban for testing positive for traces of cocaine to 14 months.

"I didn't expect it, I'm sad I won't be playing. They've taken my dream away from me."

Guerrero, who plays as a striker for Brazilian giants Flamengo, had been included in Peru's preliminary 25-man World Cup squad announced on Sunday.

But less than a week after he attended a CAS hearing in Lausanne hoping to totally annul a six-month suspension, world sport's top arbitration court increased his sentence to 14 months.

Not only is Guerrero ruled out of the World Cup, but the emblematic skipper will be sidelined until January 2019.

"I'm sad but I've come here to face things, because there have been a lot of rumours. I'm a victim of injustice," Guerrero said in Lima Tuesday where he was met by hundreds of well-wishers shouting his name and offering messages of support.

"I'm 100 per cent behind the team (Peru). In the good times, and the bad."

NO IBRAHIMOVIC, NO SURPRISE

Sweden coach Janne Andersson named a 23-man World Cup squad on Tuesday that dashed the faint hopes of fans expecting to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic feature at Russia 2018.

Sweden beat Italy in the World Cup play-offs last November, sparking speculation that former Juventus, AC Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic would come out of international retirement.

Two weeks ago the 6ft 4ins (1.95m) striker, who quit the national squad in 2016 and is now playing for Los Angeles Galaxy in Major Soccer League, said he would not change his mind on the matter.

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