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Gary Neville Hammers British Media For World Cup Coverage While On Qatari TV

Gary Neville Hammers British Media For World Cup Coverage While On Qatari TV
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Gary Neville has always been one to use his platform to discuss wider issues in society, so it was a surprise to see him accept a role with Qatari state broadcasters beIN SPORTS for the World Cup.

There should be no issue with pundits travelling to the Middle East for the tournament, with many using their time on television as an opportunity to call out the problems in the country. Roy Keane was a prime example.

However, accepting money directly from Qatar is an altogether different matter. He was rightly criticised on the BBC prior to the tournament as a result.

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Neville claimed he would discuss the issues in the country at length on the channel, although that always seemed unlikely when you consider who runs it. That hasn't been the case, with the former Manchester United player actually taking a pop at the media in his home nation instead.

Gary Neville criticises British media on Qatari TV

Appearing on beIN SPORTS today, Gary Neville embarked on a two-and-a-half minute monologue to call out the British media for the way they have covered the World Cup in Qatar. He said that he was relieved that football was now the main topic of conversation, believing many in the press had been too critical of the country in the buildup to the event.

The football is taking over as it always would do and should do - this has happened in previous tournaments by the way, maybe as not as much with the English media as this one but there was massive negativity before Brazil and Russia and other tournaments with the English press.

I've never gone to into a tournament where there hasn't been some sort of crisis of some kind with the host nation. It's generally the way we behave in England, I think you know that.

I think there's then an element of, a lot of the English press have never been over here to this country, and it's quite difficult once you're over here and you get to speak to people and learn about what goes on in this region and how things work..

The Qataris, it feels like, and maybe some of the other nations who are aligned with Qatar are just pushing back a little bit and saying 'hang on a little bit - you're not all bed of roses yourself' and let's have a look at where you've been and what you've done on your journey over the last sort of evolution of 50, 100, 200, 300 years...

Now we come here, we've got this massive scrutiny - it's a positive scrutiny though because kefala has been abolished, we need to make sure all the businesses and companies are abiding by it, we don't know if that's the case yet but there are many that are and that's a positive out of this tournament.

There is progression in this country because of the scrutiny of football, we're going to keep talking about it. What I'm going to keep doing in seven or eight weeks when we're all talking about the Premier League again in England and no-ones even thinking about Qatar, the migrant workers, and thinking about stadiums and working practices, kefala and LGBTQ rights, women's rights.

Maybe that's when we should continue shining lights on things in each others' countries when the spotlight is off. That will be really interesting to see if that happens.

These comments are unlikely to go down well.

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There are serious issues in Qatar, such as the treatment of migrant workers and the LGBTQ+ community. It is estimated that around 6,000 migrant workers have died in the country since they were awarded the World Cup, many of whom did so building stadiums and other infrastructure for the tournament. That is without even mentioning the methods by which they won the right to host it in the first place.

Gary Neville may have said he would call out these issues while on Qatari television, although he seems to have backtracked on that commitment.

SEE ALSO: Alexis Mac Allister Can Trace His Irish Ancestry To A Cottage In Donabate

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