Ian Hislop calls out Gary Neville’s Qatar World Cup ‘hypocrisy’
Gary Neville is famous for his defending skills on the pitch but recently had to defend himself off the pitch for his decision to commentate at the Qatar World Cup.
The former Manchester United captain and England player guest presented an episode of the BBC political satire panel show Have I Got News For Youwhich aired last night (October 4) and he was grilled by panellists.
With the winter tournament fast approaching, Qatar's human rights record and anti-LGBTQ+ laws were mentioned as the country has received widespread criticism over its stance on these matters.
"My view always has been that you either highlight the issues and challenges in these countries and speak about them, or you basically don't say anything and stay back home and don't go. And I think we should challenge them."
However, this answer didn't satisfy Hislop who explained: 'The other option is you stay at home and highlight the abuses. You don't have to take the Qataris' money," causing the audience to applaud in agreement.
"It's just not a very good defence," he added, before questioning along with Madeley how celebrities are meant to "highlight" the issues by attending.
Of course, the exchange was widely discussed on Twitter where people praised Hislop for his grilling Neville.
\u201cNeville has made a rod for his own back... he has placed himself into a political sphere (which he is within his rights to do) but you can't pick and chose when you apply the morals you are publicly advocating. It's rank hypocrisy to go to the World Cup.\u201d
Neville himself took to Twitter to describe the episode as a "Must watch if you want someone well out of their comfort zone, sweating, dry mouth..."
\u201cMust watch if you want to watch someone well out of their comfort zone , sweating , dry mouth and getting caught with a few punches on the face on Qatar off Ian Hislop \ud83d\ude02\ud83d\ude02\u201d
He also admitted he had got "caught with a few punches on the face on Qatar off Ian Hislop."
"Qatar have had Amnesty International and the International Labour Organisation all over them for the last 10 years because of the World Cup. We either decide that we collaborate with these countries, and try and impact change through football," Neville told the Daily Maillast month.
"Or we say we're never going to let them play sport, we're never going to have a World Cup there, we're never going to allow them to compete against us because they don't have what would be as progressive rights as they should have.
He added: "That is the reality of where I'm at with it. There's no-one that I think wants workers' rights to be better than me, there's no-one who wants women's rights, equality or diversity more than me, I absolutely believe in it.
"When I highlight these issues, I can do so from a position whereby if I am covering eight games on beIN in a World Cup, and those issues come up or there's an incident outside the stadium, I will highlight them. I will never shy away from it."
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