Football legend Gary Lineker 'not afraid' to 'p*** off Qatar' at World Cup

31 October 2022, 22:24 | Updated: 1 November 2022, 00:37

Gary Lineker during the FA cup semi-final
Gary Lineker during the FA cup semi-final. Picture: Getty
Fran Way

By Fran Way

Football legend Gary Lineker has told The News Agents he is ‘not afraid to p*** off’ Qatar and will ‘absolutely’ speak about what he wants to during the World Cup.

Speaking with hosts Emily Maitlis and Lewis Goodall, he said he isn’t ‘worried’ about annoying the country ‘in the slightest’ and that the BBC are ‘very, very’ supportive of his approach to talk about all the issues involved.

He said he is ‘going there to report it, not support it’, and listed the issues he planned to address including homophobia and workers’ rights.

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He said: “We’ll be addressing the issues, we’ll be talking about them. And that’s the whole thing that we’re going through at the moment, is how do we do that. We’ve got the opening game and I’m sure we’ll discuss the issues of human rights, homophobia, of the problems with the stadiums and the lives of lost and workers’ rights, etc.”

He also spoke about his ‘responsibility’ of reporting from the tournament, comparing it to reporting on issues with Russia, meaning that reporters don’t have to agree with situations to report the facts.

Lineker also revealed he’d spoken to players anonymously about coming out as gay saying: "I've had a couple of players reach out to me about the possibility of coming out anonymously. So, you know, I don't know who they are. And I understand how difficult and it's just a massively personal decision."

Finally, asked by Emily Maitlis: "What does it take for [ Gareth Southgate England manager] to stay?" after the World Cup Lineker said: "If we go in the group stage, I don't think he’ll need to be sacked, he’d probably just walk right out the door."