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Gary Lineker Slams "Extraordinarily Racist" USA In Qatar Rant

Gary Lineker Slams "Extraordinarily Racist" USA In Qatar Rant
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Gary Lineker drew praise from many quarters on opening day of the World Cup, as he and the BBC panel chose not to focus on the opening ceremony and pageantries of the tournament in Qatar - instead focusing on the issues at hand in the country with regards to human rights and corruption.

Lineker opened the BBC's inaugural broadcast of his World Cup with a monologue detailing the question marks and uncomfortable truths surrounding the Qatar World Cup - a monologue which was deemed "racist" by the head of the tournament, Hassan Al-Thawadi.

This week, Lineker has responded to the remarks from Qatar, and has refused to back down on his criticism of the country and their hosting of the World Cup.

Lineker did, however, broaden the conversation, saying that he would rather focus on the corruption at hand in Qatar, given that human rights abuses can be found in many Western countries. Though Lineker did not downplay the severity of the issues in Qatar, he did draw attention to issues of a similar scale in one of the co-hosts of the 2026 World Cup, the United States - calling the US an "extraordinarily racist country."


Gary Lineker speaks out on Qatar 2022 and USA 2026

FIFA have blood on their hands after this and the previous edition of the World Cup were brought to Qatar and Russia respectively. Alleged corruption was involved in both the 2018 and 2022 bids, and the decision to force the World Cup into winter in Qatar was another element which fundamentally changed the footballing landscape.


Gary Lineker is the BBC's lead host for the 2022 tournament, and has won no friends in Qatar due to his decision to speak out about the human rights abuses in the Gulf state.

In an interview this week with The News Agents, Lineker defended his choice to slam the Qatar World Cup, and said that claims he had refused to meet with the committee of the World Cup were completely unfounded.


He did, however, point out that human rights issues exist in many countries that contend to host the World Cup, and said that FIFA would have questions to answer ahead of the 2026 tournament in the US, Canada, and Mexico:

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. That’s football; football is a wonderful sport.

The Black Lives Matter movement sparked into life in 2020, after the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. The aftermath of the killing on May 25 2020 saw widespread protests against systemic racism in the United States, during the Donald Trump presidency.

To add to the huge issues with racial inequality in the US, the organisers of the 2026 World Cup are rumoured to be considering Texas as the venue for the tournament's final. The state of Texas has been under fire in recent months for their backwards policies towards the LGBTQ+ community.


With the World Cup travelling to the US in 2026, Gary Lineker and co. will have more questions to ask and answer if they are to cover the event.

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