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Gary Neville Has A Pop At Politicians & Royal Family As He Defends Qatar Stance

Gary Neville Has A Pop At Politicians & Royal Family As He Defends Qatar Stance
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Gary Neville has come in for some heavy criticism in recent days, with his decision to appear as a pundit on Qatari state broadcasters beIN SPORTS rightly coming in for plenty of scrutiny.

The former Manchester United defender said before the tournament that he would use his appearances on the channel as an opportunity to challenge some of the issues in the gulf nation. However, if is his debut yesterday is anything to go by, that is unlikely to come to fruition.

There has been plenty of debate over pundits travelling to Qatar for the tournament. Some believe they are hypocrites to do so and still criticise the human rights issues in the Middle East.

That seems a bit misguided. They can use their platform on television to highlight the problems being faced by many in Qatar, something many have taken the opportunity to do.

Gary Neville calls out royal family in defending Qatar stance


Gary Neville's situation is a bit different, in that he is taking money directly from Qatar. In saying that, he is still not backing down in his stance surrounding the tournament.

Speaking on ITV this afternoon, he called out many members of the British establishment for their hypocrisy in relation to this issue and questioned why football has been so heavily criticised when others have not been.

I don't feel conflicted. I've been coming over the Middle East for 20 years, I've had sporting and commercial relationships with this part of the world for a long time.

The fact that FIFA have awarded a World Cup to Qatar, in the last few weeks that has come under huge scrutiny. I accept that position, I'm there to be shot at and people have criticised me heavily. They have criticised our colleagues on the BBC yesterday fro being over here.

My view on it is quite simple. I detest worker's rights abuses, I detest the fact that people aren't being paid enough money, that people are working in poor conditions and don't have good accommodation, the fact that women's rights aren't adhered to, or human rights abuses.

I can't stand it, but I also have relationships with this part of the world and have done for many years.

Those relationships are longstanding in our country in the UK. We buy most of our energy from the Middle East, they own our banks, the royal family have relationships with the Middle East both sporting and charitable. Our government and political parties have relationships with the Middle East, they own Heathrow Airport and the London stock exchange.

The fact is that it's football and football tournaments that has brought the scrutiny on the challenges that exist in this part of the world. From my point of view, I'm happy to front that up.

If Prince William doesn't want to come to this tournament, but his father takes 'charitable donations', that's fine. If the MPs don't want to come over here but are happy to take money from them in our political parties, that's fine with me.

All I see is football and ex-footballers who seem to be coming under criticism. Form my point of view I have to say, I think that football stands up.

Neville does make some good points here. It is clear that the UK's relationship with countries such as Qatar is well established at this point, with money from that part of the world commonplace at the top of society.

It will be interesting to see how this conversation develops in the weeks ahead.


SEE ALSO: Gary Neville Comes Under Heavy Criticism For Pandering To Qatari State TV

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