Gary Lineker calls America 'an extraordinarily racist country' when discussing next World Cup hosts
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BBC presenter Gary Lineker has been at it again with a scathing attack on the next World Cup hosts, branding the United States ‘an extraordinarily racist country’.
The English football legend was outspoken in his opening monologue of the BBC’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
He took aim at the host nation’s human rights record in a move that Qatar called ‘very racist’, claiming they had reached out to Lineker prior to the tournament to discuss the issues.
However, the former Barcelona player went on the offensive again when discussing the next hosts of the World Cup.
He told The News Agents podcast: “We pointed facts out at the beginning of the tournament, those facts remain.
“So, lots of people were killed doing the stadiums. Yes, the stadiums are extraordinary, but at a great price. Homophobia is an issue here, women’s rights are a little bit of an issue here.
“For me, it was always really more about the corruption side of it because, as I said previously, I think pretty much every country, including our own, has got issues.
“And we’re off to America in four years’ time, with Canada and Mexico, but obviously America’s an extraordinarily racist country.
“So, there’s always issues but it was more the fact that we just pointed out a few facts and particularly the aspect of it being so corrupt – they said it was going to be summer and it was in the winter.
“I don’t think anything’s particularly changed but it’s been a cracking tournament but that’s football; football is a wonderful sport.”
Prior to the beginning of the Qatar World Cup, Lineker touched on allegations of corruption, the treatment of migrant workers, homosexuality being illegal, and women’s rights.
Gary Lineker's opening monologue at the start of BBC's coverage of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar ⚽pic.twitter.com/71xyfXpBWc— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) November 20, 2022
Qatar World Cup chief Hassan Al-Thawadi slammed Lineker’s comments and claimed the football presenter hadn’t attempted to speak with them on the issues despite being invtied to.
He told talkSPORT: “For me, Gary Lineker, I looked up him growing up. When I was in Sheffield, I watched They Think It’s All Over. I used to love it, the banter, the sense of humour.
“So it was very disappointing that he never bothered to engage. We reached out many times. The latest was in February, we reached out three or four times, requesting specifically to sit down with Gary to say, ‘We respect your position, give us the opportunity to put our case in front’.
“At least hear us out. If you don’t agree then, that’s fine, that’s your decision, and that’s your judgement. But we never got the chance.
“I was disappointed there was never the desire to listen to our part of the story.”
However, Lineker says he was never contacted.
He said: “I doubt they’ve been watching, to be perfectly honest. There was one bit where the guy went on a radio station back home, I think he one of the organisers, and said he tried to reach out to me time and time again to get an interview and that, frankly, wasn’t true at all, neither to myself nor my agent.
“And then he said it was through the BBC and the BBC have no record of it whatsoever.”