Gary Lineker hits out at Qatar World Cup

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Gary Lineker credit:Bang Showbiz
Gary Lineker credit:Bang Showbiz

Gary Lineker doesn't support the 2022 World Cup being played in Qatar.

The next edition of the global football tournament will take place in the Middle Eastern nation, but the decision has proved controversial due to the corrupt nature of the bidding process and the former England footballer has reservations about the event.

Gary – who was part of England's failed bid to host the 2018 tournament – told ITV's 'This Morning': "At the time I was obviously perturbed by it because I was kind of brought in late as part of the English bid.

"It was obviously pretty corrupt at the time and it has been proven to be so. I don't agree that it should be there but we'll have to report it.

"But am I a supporter of the fact that it's there? No."

Concerns have also been raised about Qatar's attitude to gay rights, although the legendary English striker expects footballers to "get on with it" once the tournament begins next year.

The 'Match of the Day' presenter said: "Pretty much every sport now is played in Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. I think the sportsmen will get on with it."

Lineker also hopes the decision made by the Australian player Josh Cavallo to come out as gay can inspire other players to do the same and get rid of the stigma surrounding gay players in the sport.

The 60-year-old broadcaster said: "It's unbelievable really that we even have to have this conversation. It's a shame but at least he has (come out).

"I hope other players will follow. There's obviously lots of them in the game. We know that. It's inevitable and there will be some in the Premier League. I hope the way it has been received so positively will encourage a player to do so."

Gary continued: "I understand the fear of doing it – even for me who has been around... it's easy for me to say but I honestly think if they do it will be received in such a positive manner by pretty much everybody.

"I just hope someone is brave enough to do it because then others will follow. It's ridiculous that we have to have the conversation about this but hopefully that will change. Well, it will change but it's just a question of time."

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