Gary Lineker's Opening World Cup Monologue Addresses Qatar Human Rights Abuses

Gary Lineker has delivered a damning opening statement as the coverage of the Qatar World Cup begins.

The presenter is heading up the BBC’s presenting team during the controversial tournament, and he launched the broadcaster’s first transmission in the country in no uncertain terms.

“It’s the most controversial world cup in history, and a ball hasn’t even been kicked,” he said.

“Ever since FIFA chose Qatar back in 2010, the smallest country to have hosted football’s greatest competition, has faced some big questions.

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“From accusations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who built the stadiums where many lost their lives. Homosexuality is illegal here. Women’s rights and freedom of expression are in the spotlight.”

The coverage began with an in-depth look at the controversies surrounding the tournament, and people praised Lineker’s opening speech on social media.


Host nation Qatar plays Ecuador in the opening game of the tournament, which will feature 64 games including the final on December 18.

It comes as Qatar is being condemned for notions of sportswashing, reports of 6,500 migrant worker deaths, appalling attitudes to LGBTQ+ rights and claims of modern slavery and a host of other problems.

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