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Gary Lineker admits regret as BBC 'sportswashed' by Russia 2018 World Cup amid Qatar fury

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Gary Lineker, 61, has spoken about the BBC being “sportswashed” after choosing to condemn the World Cup for being held in Qatar at the weekend.The star has admitted he also failed to see the controversial elements of the tournament back in 2018, which was held in Russia.

Gary expressed how he felt the BBC should have spoken up about Russia back then, and that he feels “uncomfortable” when he thinks about the “sportswashing” that occurred from the broadcaster.Reflecting on his stance four years ago, Gary suggested he regretted not calling out Russia in the same way he has done with Qatar.

He added that the BBC had not done enough to tackle the controversies of the 2018 host nation at the time.“I think we were sportswashed four years ago, when it was in Russia,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Media Show.

READ MORE: “I think we were all going how great it was, and this and that and the other, and that’s how sportwashing works. “We didn’t talk perhaps enough about the other issues.So it was deemed the right thing to do.”FIFA has been criticised for allowing the World Cup to go ahead in Qatar due to the country’s treatment of the LGBTQ community and women in the Middle Eastern country.Ahead of the opening game between the hosts and Ecuador on Sunday, Gary delivered an introduction that drew attention to the rights of migrant workers, LGBT people and women in the nation as part of the BBC’s coverage.While many are calling this the “most controversial World Cup in history”, Gary has argued that when Russia hosted the competition four years ago, it should have faced just as much scrutiny.Russia’s ruthless invasion of Ukraine at the time, which escalated into a war earlier this year, should have sparked a lot more criticism according to.

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