Monday 21 November 2022 08:56 AM Qatar World Cup 2022: BBC's 'virtue signalling' stars are slammed for ... trends now

Monday 21 November 2022 08:56 AM Qatar World Cup 2022: BBC's 'virtue signalling' stars are slammed for ... trends now
Monday 21 November 2022 08:56 AM Qatar World Cup 2022: BBC's 'virtue signalling' stars are slammed for ... trends now

Monday 21 November 2022 08:56 AM Qatar World Cup 2022: BBC's 'virtue signalling' stars are slammed for ... trends now

The criticism kept coming for the BBC's 'virtue-signalling' coverage of the World Cup kick-off on Monday ahead of England's first match against Iran, as football fans blasted pundits 'absurd hypocrisy' after they launched into long tirades about controversies and human rights issue in Qatar, while broadcasting live from a stadium in Doha.

Viewers slammed Gary Lineker and Alex Scott's 'holier than thou' punditry which saw an opening monologue for the BBC's introduction to the World Cup address the human rights record in Qatar, with many taking to social media to say the pair had 'took the money ahead of their morals'.

Others said the segment had been 'outrageously disrespectful to Qatar' for not broadcasting the World Cup opening ceremony, and said: 'If they're that appalled, they should bring home their vast army of employees & spare us this absurd hypocrisy [sic].'

Meanwhile, another viewer said that while they understood it was not their decision n ot to air the oening ceremony, they had 'lost all respect' for the presenters after deciding to 'start your programme as it it was some funeral'.

BBC's Gary Lineker addressed the human right's issues in Qatar in his opening monologue at the start of the organisation's coverage

Alex Scott slammed Infantino for his words and failure to commit to a compensation fund to families who have lost loved ones

Viewers slammed Gary Lineker and Alex Scott's 'holier than thou' punditry which saw an opening monologue for the BBC's introduction to the World Cup address the human rights record in Qatar, with many taking to social media to say the pair had 'took the money ahead of their morals'

Viewers slammed Gary Lineker and Alex Scott's 'holier than thou' punditry which saw an opening monologue for the BBC's introduction to the World Cup address the human rights record in Qatar, with many taking to social media to say the pair had 'took the money ahead of their morals'

The controversial competition kicked off yesterday with the host nation facing Ecuador in Group A, with the game live on the BBC.

He had previously been criticised, along with other football commentators and journalists, for agreeing to attend and be paid for the tournament in Qatar given its deeply conservative stance on issues such as gay rights.

Alan Shearer, Alex Scott and Ashley Williams were working as pundits and also addressed Qatar's behaviour since being handed the tournament. 

The BBC showed the first live game, but opted only to show the opening ceremony, which featured disgraced actor Morgan Freeman, online. 

Football fans reacted with anger to yesterday's coverage and said they simply wanted to watch the matches, pointing out that if the presenters were so concerned over human rights issues they could simply have refused to fly there instead.

It is just one of multiple controversies to hit the tournament prior to kick-off, including a ban on alcohol in stadiums and the choice of Morgan Freeman to contribute to the opening ceremony. 

One social media user said: 'Gary Lineker on BBC News talking about the lack of human rights in Qatar. All while he's sitting there and taking the money. The hypocrisy of the guy knows no bounds!' 

Former England forward Alan Shearer (right) laid into FIFA for their awarding of the tournament, while Ashley Williams (left) added he felt there were 'zero considerations for the human rights and the workers' rights' from FIFA

The World Cup in Qatar kicked off on Sunday night with an elaborate opening ceremony, followed by the first game between the hosts and Ecuador, and a large firework display

The World Cup in Qatar kicked off on Sunday night with an elaborate opening ceremony, followed by the first game between the hosts and Ecuador, and a large firework display

Fans watch fireworks after the World Cup inauguration match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Corniche sea promenade in Doha, Qatar

Fans watch fireworks after the World Cup inauguration match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Corniche sea promenade in Doha, Qatar

During the opening ceremony and the opening game, many seats were left empty at the Al Bayt Stadium in Doha

During the opening ceremony and the opening game, many seats were left empty at the Al Bayt Stadium in Doha

In excess of 6,500 migrant workers are said to have died while building Qatar's football stations for the tournament, and homosexuality is still illegal and sometimes punishable by death.

The BBC team came under fire from those watching who complained they had tuned in to watch the football, not to hear a 'political segment' - and others who pointed out the team had agreed to fly out to the country and were being paid to work there.

Among those to raise criticism was Piers Morgan, who told his Twitter followers the broadcasters were 'putting out more virtual-signalling guff': 'Outrageously disrespectful to Qatar that the BBC didn't broadcast the World Cup opening ceremony, and instead put out more virtue-signalling guff about how awful it is. 

'If they're that appalled, they should bring home their vast army of employees and spare us this absurd hypocrisy.'

One fan commented: 'I've just tuned into the BBC to watch the FIFA World Cup and I appear to be getting a political broadcast.

'Is it the same for everyone, or just my TV?' 

Another fumed: 'World Cup already a green bore fest and political advert. B****y hell.' 

A third said: 'Those BBC pundits sat around slaying the human rights of Qatar while being sat in Qatar is so bizarre.' 

Lineker said at the top of the programme: 'It's the most controversial World Cup in recent history and a ball hasn't even been kicked', he said. 'Ever since FIFA chose Qatar back in 2010, the smallest nation to host football's greatest competition has faced some big questions. 

'From accusations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who've built the stadiums where many lost their lives. Homosexuality is illegal here and women's rights are also in the spotlight. Also the decision to switch the tournament from summer to winter. 

'Against that back drop, there is a tournament to be played here that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. Stick to football say FIFA, well we will for a couple of minutes at least.'

Shearer in particular was critical of the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar: 'Every country has its own issues including our own country, and I'm not saying we're perfect, we're far from it, but we were there in 2010 and we were as surprised as anyone was. 

'First of all it was announced it was a winter World Cup, air conditioned stadiums, air conditioned fan fests and all that stuff. Three months later it is announced the first game of the World Cup is moved to today and 11 of those 22 members that had that vote for FIFA have either been sanctioned, fined or banned for life. 

'Mohammed bin Hammam from Qatar, who was the chairman of the Asian football association has been banned for life, even Sepp Blatter has recently said it was a mistake, so that's where we are with this World Cup.'

Williams then honed in on FIFA, adding: 'I think when they awarded Qatar the tournament there were zero considerations for the human rights and the workers' rights and there were no considerations put in place for the building of the stadiums. 

'It's been 10 years before we've seen any changes in that to improving working conditions and labour laws. The only positive is that this international tension has led to some reform. I think it only becomes sportswashing when we don't talk about it.'

But football fans did not all agree with the BBC presenters' stance, despite the high-profile human rights abuses which are ongoing in the host nation.

There was outrage directed towards Sunday's commentary team as social media users accused them of 'sitting there getting paid plenty' to be in Qatar.

Qatar has faced a barrage of criticism over its treatment of foreign workers, LGBT+ rights and social restrictions, staking its reputation on delivering a smooth tournament. The country has denied accusations of abuse of workers and discrimination.

In the UK, it is not just those within the BBC who have faced accusations of hypocrisy.

Former England star David Beckham has been the face of this year's tournament, reportedly signing a £10 million deal with the hosts to promote the nation.

Beckham, who was one of the first footballers to ever be photographed by LGBT+ magazines, has been known as something of a 'gay icon' within the world of football after previously speaking out about LGBT+ rights.

But he was slammed by many after his deal with the country emerged due to its strict laws criminalising homosexuality, which is technically still punishable by death in Qatar.

On Sunday afternoon, pansexual comedian Joe Lycett appeared to shred £10,000 of his own money after challenging Beckham to end his relationship with the country.

Had Beckham chosen to do so, Mr Lycett pledged to donate the money to charities which support LGBT+ people within football. 

Empty seats could be seen within the Al Bayt Stadium during the ceremony, but after Ecuador vs Qatar kicked off at 7pm local time, the stadium appeared to have filled with fans. However, empty sections were later seen returning in the second half of the match, which saw the hosts beaten 2-0.

In another controversy, Qatar banned the sale of beer in stadiums on Friday in a stunning about-face, meaning many of Doha's bars and nightclubs - one of the rare places fans can get alcohol - were packed with crowds and had their tables fully booked on Sunday as the tournament kicked off.

And in a final row some criticised the decision to open the tournament with an appearance from Michael Freeman, who narrated the event's opening segment titled 'The Calling'.

Freeman spoke with 20-year-old Qatari entrepreneur and influencer Ghanim al Muftah - a FIFA World Cup Ambassador who was born with Caudal Regression Syndrome, a rare disorder which impairs the development of the lower spine - who said to the actor: 'Come on over.'

When Freeman replied 'I'm not sure, Am I welcome?', al Muftah said: 'We sent out the call because everyone is welcome. This is an invitation to the whole world.'

Freeman replied: 'I remember, even after hearing the call, instead of seeing another way, we dismissed it and demanded our own way. And now the world feels even more distant and divided. How can so many countries, languages and cultures come together, if only one way is accepted?'

His appearance comes four years after he was accused of sexual misconduct by eight women and issued an apology to 'anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected' by his behaviour, saying it was 'never my intent'.

Sixteen people - eight witnesses and eight who claimed to be victims - had come forward to allege the actor engaged in 'inappropriate behaviour' and 'harassment' as they worked alongside him.

Football fans have reacted with fury on social media at the actor's appearance in the ceremony, with one calling it 'disappointing' and another saying: 'When you have to act out a scene with Morgan Freeman ''welcoming the entire world'' to your country for a soccer tournament, maybe you shouldn't host the World Cup.'

In Britain, broadcasters chose not to show the ceremony, instead showing a pre-packaged report on Qatar's questionable human rights record and the controversy surrounding the tournament - meaning fans missed out on much of the spectacle.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino gave a staggering speech on Saturday when he once again begged for the focus of the tournament to be on the football, and called the 'one-sided' criticism 'hypocrisy'.

Fireworks explode above the stadium ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Ecuador

Fireworks explode above the stadium ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Ecuador

FIFA president Gianni Infantino gave another staggering speech on Saturday, again pleading for the focus to be on the football.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino gave another staggering speech on Saturday, again pleading for the focus to be on the football.

David Beckham looks on from an executive box Qatar v Ecuador, FIFA World Cup 2022, Group A, Football, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar

David Beckham looks on from an executive box Qatar v Ecuador, FIFA World Cup 2022, Group A, Football, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar

Morgan Freeman at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Opening Ceremony Qatar v Ecuador

Morgan Freeman at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Opening Ceremony Qatar v Ecuador

The opening ceremony at the Al Bayt Stadium took place before kick off on Sunday afternoon

Scott slated Infantino for his words, branding the 52-year-old 'confusing and absolutely bizarre'.

'I'm trying to understand, you brought a World Cup here and I'm trying to understand about a culture', she said. 'I'm trying to understand everything – the whole context of what's going on and what the FIFA president said yesterday is to me confusing and absolutely bizarre. How you can say 'today I am a migrant worker'? No you are not and you never will be.

'Yes you have moved forward and now there is a minimum wage in this country that happened in the last two years, £1 an hour, £240 a month, your salary is £1.5 million or whatever it is, you will never know what it is like to be a migrant worker and for families now who lose their loved ones just trying to make a living is absolutely bizarre. 

'And for FIFA to be awarding clubs compensation of over £200million to allow their players to be playing here is absurd because you're not even committing to a compensation fund for families.'

Several fans have criticised the organisation's decision to focus on the issues rather than the football straight away, with many labelling Lineker and the station 'woke'.

'BBC going full on woke from the off. #worldcup2022qatar leave politics out of football. Hope all the virtue signallers have a lovely afternoon.' said one user.

'And the BBC tv woke fest has begun! Lineker was bad enough normally without an agenda to drive his wokeness!' added another.'

In a separate controversy, the World Cup will be a mostly alcohol free affair after officials decided to turn off the beer taps inside stadiums, drawing even more criticism.

Qatar is a typically teetotal nation where tourists can only buy or consume alcohol inside licensed hotels or restaurants. Drinking in public is punishable by a prison sentence or even public whippings.

Exemptions for the World Cup previously meant meant fans were able to buy beers in special 'fan zones' or on stadium concourses.

But Qatar reneged on part of that deal, meaning beer can now only be sold only inside the 'fan zones' and will not be available in the stadiums.

Pints will cost £12, only be available at certain times, and each person will be limited to a maximum of four to stop them getting drunk.

Those who are drunk risk being taken away to 'special areas' until they have sobered up.

On Saturday, FIFA's Infantino rounded on European critics of Qatar, saying

read more from dailymail.....

PREV Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane: Cities where property prices fell by double-digit ... trends now
NEXT McDonald's Australia faces huge problem trends now