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BBC courts controversy with opening World Cup coverage (VIDEO) – RT Sport News

The broadcaster has been accused of snubbing the opening ceremony in Qatar in favor of a human rights message

TV host Gary Lineker has defended the BBC’s decision not to show the opening ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on its main platform, after relegating the pageantry to its player online and instead opened its coverage condemning the mistreatment of migrant workers and criticizing some of the more controversial elements of the tournament under fire.

The highly choreographed opening ceremony took place before the kick-off between host country Qatar and Ecuador on Sunday and featured hundreds of performers, a singer from a South Korean boy band and even Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman.

But if the purpose of the opening ceremony was, as FIFA indicated in a letter to each of the 32 countries participating in the tournament, “focus on football,“It was clear that the BBC had ignored this particular directive.

It’s the most controversial World Cup in history and a ball hasn’t even been kickedsaid Lineker as he opened the show.

Since FIFA chose Qatar in 2010, the smallest nation to host football’s biggest competition has faced big questions – from accusations of corruption in the bid 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. Also, the decision six years ago to switch the World Cup from summer to winter.

In this context, there is a tournament to be played – a tournament that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. Stick to football, say FIFA. Well, we will – for a few minutes at least.

The move drew criticism online, not the least of which came from Lineker’s frequent sparring partner Piers Morgan, who argued it was “outrageously disrespectful” the hosts not to show the opening ceremony.

Outrageously disrespectful to Qatar that the BBC did not show the opening ceremony of the World Cup and instead aired more virtue chatter about its horror,” he wrote. “If they are so appalled, they should bring home their vast army of employees and spare us this senseless hypocrisy..”

Lineker later explained on social media that the decision to skip much of the opening ceremony was due to the BBC’s pre-broadcast commitment to show a Women’s Super League game between Chelsea and Tottenham, which she had already accepted before the start of the World Cup. moved forward a day several weeks back.

Whether it can be described as a ‘virtue-signalling’ or not, it is certainly remarkable that the UK’s main World Cup rights holder has chosen to forgo the requested narrative to shine the spotlight on the accusations that have been brought against both Qatar and FIFA. .

The World Cup in Qatar shows that “human rights” are only a tool for the West

The topic on the BBC, of ​​course, eventually shifted to football, then to the hosts’ vapid curtain-raising performance in their 2-0 loss to Ecuador, but it all happened under the veil of widespread condemnation of Qatari human rights. abuse and mistreatment of migrant workers, among other issues.


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