Gary Neville launches passionate defence of World Cup work with Qatari broadcaster
Posted by  badge Boss on Oct 19
Gary Neville has faced criticism for working with beIN Sports in Qatar (Picture: Getty Images)

Gary Neville has defended his decision to work for the Qatari state-owned broadcaster, beIN Sports, during the World Cup, saying he will highlight human rights issues through his role, while pointing the finger at Saudi Arabia and UAE for being as open for criticism as Qatar.

The regular face on has come in for criticism as he speaks out on political issues in the UK, but has chosen to work for the Qatari broadcaster, despite the state’s awful record on human rights.

The former and England defender says the likes of Saudi Arabia and UAE are just as bad as Qatar on that front, and those countries are directly involved in English football through and .

‘We are talking about Man City like it’s a golden ticket – they’re owned by Abu Dhabi, who have massive issues with women’s rights, worker’s rights, LGBTQ rights… exactly the same, in fact worse, than Qatar,’ Neville told .

‘Qatar have had Amnesty International and the International Labour Organisation all over them for the last 10 years because of the .

‘Saudi Arabia have come into our country to own Newcastle and they’ve got terrible human rights issues over there – the journalist Ki**ed there a few years ago, for example – and people work for them in this country.

‘We either decide we are going to work with these nations in the middle east – we have sold about 40 billion quid’s worth of arms to middle eastern countries over the last 10 years as a UK Government, they own half of London and are probably donating to the Conservative party.

‘We either decide that we collaborate with these countries, and try and impact change through football – which is what I think we should always do – or we say we’re never going to let them play sport, we’re never going to have a World Cup there, we’re never going to allow them to compete against us because they don’t have what would be as progressive rights as they should have.

‘That is the reality of where I’m at with it. There’s no-one that I think wants workers’ rights to be better than me, there’s no-one who wants women’s rights, equality or diversity more than me, I absolutely believe in it.’

Neville admits that there are obvious problems in Qatar, but he intends to cover them fairly during the World Cup, despite working for the state-owned broadcaster.

‘The way construction workers and hospitality workers get treated in Qatar is not good enough and it is not right at all,’ he said. ‘So for me, I can understand where the criticism comes from because I put myself out there and to be fair try to defend people’s rights in this country all the time and I’ll continue to do that through football in different countries as well.’


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