World Cup 2022: Former English soccer star slams US as ‘extraordinarily racist country’

Gary Linekar
FILE- In this Tuesday, April 24, 2012, file photo, former England soccer player Gary Lineker speaks ahead of the draw for the London 2012 Olympic Soccer tournament, at Wembley Stadium in London. A list of top earners at the BBC shows that men dominate the highest paid jobs despite pledges to grant women equal pay. The BBC said Wednesday, July 11, 2018 its top earner is soccer presenter Gary Lineker, who took home between 1.75 million pounds ($2.32 million) and 1.76 million pounds. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file) Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

World Cup 2022: Former English soccer star slams US as ‘extraordinarily racist country’

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Former English soccer star-turned-BBC broadcaster Gary Lineker claimed the United States is “extraordinarily racist” in a new interview.

Lineker has been leading the BBC’s coverage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and he hasn’t shied away from criticizing the host country’s track record with the LGBT community, women, and migrant workers.

“We’re off to America in four years’ time, with Canada and Mexico, but obviously America’s an extraordinarily racist country,” Lineker told The News Agents podcast. The broadcaster was attempting to explain that there are concerns with every country. He previously noted that the event has been held in problematic countries in the past as well.

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“We pointed facts out at the beginning of the tournament; those facts remain,” he said of Qatar’s status as the host country. “So, lots of people were killed doing the stadiums.”

“Yes, the stadiums are extraordinary but at a great price. Homophobia is an issue here. Women’s rights are a little bit of an issue here,” Lineker added.

Of his gripes with Qatar, Lineker said, “For me, it was always really more about the corruption side of it because, as I said previously, I think pretty much every country, including our own, has got issues.”

The BBC did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

Qatar 2022 World Cup chief Hassan Al Thawadi criticized the English soccer legend as well as the BBC, claiming their coverage of the events has been “racist.” He further claimed that Lineker was reached out to several times. “Gary never bothered to engage, we reached out many times,” Al Thawadi said.

https://twitter.com/talkSPORT/status/1597208686572847105?s=20&t=KpX3Vou96ldsw0epuOptQQ

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Lineker responded to Al Thawadi’s claim that he refused to engage. “Well, this is news to me. Neither my agent nor myself received any request to engage with anyone involved with Qatar 2022. I have my weaknesses, but I’m not that rude. Very odd,” he tweeted.

The former player holds the record for most World Cup goals scored by an Englishman, with 10. He played in the tournament in both 1986 and 1990. Current English legend Harry Kane takes second, boasting eight goals between the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

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