Why the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar was not shown on BBC One

TV pundit and former footballer Gary Lineker has denied the BBC’s scrapping of the Qatar 2022 World Cup opening ceremony on Sunday (November 20) amid criticism it was a deliberate move because disputes continue around the host country. Instead, BBC One broadcast Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur in the Women’s Super League, which ended after the opening ceremony had started.

As the channel switched to broadcasting from Qatar, Lineker, along with hosts Alex Scott and Alex Shearer, discussed the allegations against Qatar and how it was “the most controversial World Cup in history”. He said: “Since FIFA chose Qatar in 2010, the smallest country to host football’s biggest competition has faced some big questions. From allegations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who built stadiums where many died.”

However, the move was criticized by outspoken TV presenter Piers Morgan, who called it “blatantly disrespectful”. Taking it on Twitter, he said: “For the BBC not to broadcast the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup, instead sending out yet more good signals about how awful it is, is a blatant disrespect for Qatar. If they are so shocked, they should bring home their vast army of staff and rid us of this absurd hypocrisy.’

This invited many others who shared the same thoughts to join the conversation, with one viewer saying: “When Russia hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, they had already annexed Crimea and occupied eastern Ukraine. The BBC did not criticize it at the time and the opening ceremony was shown in its entirety. However, the BBC chose today’s saint to lecture us. Shameful.”

Another said: “Yeah, the BBC just decided to ignore the opening ceremony completely. Partly just because they were showing the WSL for 5 minutes, but they went straight to the main overview of the Qatar discussion topics.’ Another said it was time for people to cancel their TV licences. A viewer said: “I think people should be complaining to the BBC about what they’ve been broadcasting… not to mention canceling their TV licence.”

Why the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar was not on BBC One

Responding to critics, Lineker said it was not true that the BBC had rejected the opening ceremony. He tweeted: “It was shown live in full on @BBCiPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the red button. The opening ceremony time was changed to earlier just recently and the WSL has already been confirmed for @bbcone. If you wanted to watch it, you could.’

However, viewers tuning in to BBC One’s main broadcast were unable to see the inclusivity-themed spectacle from Al Bait Stadium in Al Khor, missing out on highlights such as BTS sensation Jungkook and Qatari singer Fahad Al Qubaisi. Hollywood mogul Morgan Freeman, who hosted the ceremony, also appeared at the stadium to shake hands with the World Cup ambassador, who suffers from a rare spinal condition, in a show of solidarity with the country that has come under fire. for human rights record. Why the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar was not shown on BBC One

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