Gary Lineker's Son 'Nearly Lost His Life' In African Football Riot
Gary Lineker's son Harry 'nearly lost his life' whilst filming the World Cup 2022 qualifier between Sierra Leone and Liberia after being caught up in a riot.
When Sierra Leone captain Umaru Bangura missed a penalty in injury time against Liberia on Saturday, causing them to drop out of World Cup qualification, fans stormed the pitch and threw rocks.
On his 'Behind Closed Doors' podcast Match of the Day presenter Lineker revealed his son Harry, who produces the podcast, nearly died during the riots as he was out there filming the match, saying, "You know my Harry, who is obviously our producer on our podcast is not here," he said speaking to co-host Danny Baker, "Well, he's been in Africa filming in Sierra Leone, he's been there a few days doing a bit of work around the FIFA match between Sierra Leone and Liberia.
"Liberia won the first leg 3-1 and then it was played at Sierra Leone and they were there filming behind the scenes, in the dressing rooms, with all the fans.
"Well, my Harry nearly lost his life - it was a bit of a scary moment.
"Sierra Leone got a goal and they need one more to go through on away goals and they had a penalty in last minute and the fella missed it and it kicked off - there were riots, it went bonkers, they were attacking the pitch, throwing rocks.
"Harry was with the camera guy and a fixer and (after) the mass invasion they got split, and Harry was on his own and he's running and he thinks 'I'll take cover in the tunnel'.
"So he gets into the tunnel and then all the fans come in - there's 50 or 60 of them and he gets attacked.
"They were ripping his clothes off, they've taken his phone and everything out of his pockets - he only had his fags, being a silly smoker, typical Harry, and he was terrified - genuinely terrified.
"He thought he saw a blade and thought he was going to get knifed.
"There was an armed guard with a shield and he was shielding people off so he (Harry) dived behind the shield and he said he was there for quite a while and this guy saved him thankfully and got him into a room."
Fortunately Harry is okay and Gary added that Saturday was the last day filming and he'd spoken to his 25-year-old son, before taking to Instagram to share a picture of them back together on Wednesday.
Liberia now go through to the group stages of the qualifiers along with the 26 top ranked sides in the African confederation and the other 13 first round winners.