"I was with David Beckham having a burger the night before the Qatar decision" – Gary Lineker
'Match Of The Day' presenter urges boycott of Qatar World Cup
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Lineker told Alistair Campbell: "I'm going to have to name-drop here, but I was with David Beckham having a burger the night before the Qatar decision. We were out trying to get support; Prince William and David Cameron were out there, too, and I said to Becks, "We are the only country doing this. The whole thing smells; it is a done deal." It makes you feel sick, actually, the whole Fifa thing, the corruption at the top level is nauseating. Sepp Blatter likewise has run it like a dictatorship for so long and he comes out with so much nonsense."
Lineker retweets a quote given to GQ Magazine on Twitter earlier this week
The retired England striker and BBC sports presenter urged "clean countries" to boycott the World Cup in protest over corruption allegations within FIFA, in the interview. Dismissing FIFA's decision to award the 2022 tournament to Qatar as "ludicrous".
Adding "It is such a shame because it is a massive sport and means so much to so many people. England are too straight, in a way – and I am not saying that as a criticism. We should stand up for what is right and if that means never hosting the World Cup again, fine." And, "The only way it might change is for the clean countries to turn around and say, 'You know what, we are not taking part in your tournaments'. But I can't see it happening. There is too much at stake."
Lineker even had something to say about the climate of Qatar – answering when questioned if he deemed the country to be a good place for the World Cup: "Ludicrous. I am not against it going to different parts of the world, but you'd have thought they might have known it would be very hot in summer. You have to be careful what you say, but the corruption is just... yuk."
The results of the probe into allegations concerning the Qatari and Russian World Cup bids are likely to be released next month. Led by US attorney Michael Garcia, the investigatory chamber of FIFA's ethics committee have travelled the world over the course of the last 12 months – interviewing anyone and everyone involved in the race to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to investigate allegations of bribery and corruption.