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‘I can’t wait to see rain’: Kyle Walker welcomes possibility of World Cup rain

England’s Kyle Walker during a press conference at the Main Media Centre in Doha, Qatar (Martin Rickett/PA)
England’s Kyle Walker during a press conference at the Main Media Centre in Doha, Qatar (Martin Rickett/PA)

Rain “could be a reality” for England’s World Cup quarter-final tie with France – much to the relief of Kyle Walker.

Footage posted on Wednesday by the Qatar Meteorology Department showed heavy rain and what appeared to be a tornado near Ras Laffan.

The northern industrial hub is near the Al Bayt Stadium which will host Saturday’s game.

The department earlier this week forecast Qatar will be “affected by a rainy state of varying intensity at intermittent intervals” from Wednesday until Saturday.

BBC weather presenter and meteorologist Simon King, writing on Twitter, added: “It was always a possibility in winter but for Eng v France on Saturday it could be a reality.

“Still a little way off but showers, mostly in Saudi Arabia, could drift into Qatar. Much cooler as well with a max of only 22C.”

England and Manchester City defender Kyle Walker told reporters: “I never thought I’d say it but I can’t wait to see rain, it’s been that long – living in Manchester, you see rain every day.

“It looked like it was going to rain when we were training so I’m not surprised there was a tornado near where the ground is.

“But the French will have experienced rain as well – both teams will be playing in different weather conditions – I don’t think that’s going to affect the way the game goes, to be honest.”

Visitors and residents of Qatar have enjoyed temperatures in the mid to high 20s for much of the tournament, which was moved to the winter to avoid the punishing heat of summer in the Gulf state.