Fifa makes me sick - Lineker

LONDON - Gary Lineker has claimed he feels sick at alleged corruption within Fifa and labelled the decision to play the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as “ludicrous”.

Lineker was part of England’s bid team for the 2018 tournament awarded to Russia and says England should not bid again if the only way to win is by bending the rules.

In an interview with GQ magazine the former England striker said: “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.”

Asked about the decision to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Lineker, one of the BBC’s top sport presenters, replied: “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.”

Lineker suggested the only way of changing Fifa was for ‘clean’ countries to boycott the World Cup but he acknowledged that would not happen. Asked if he sees Fifa as corrupt and not fit for purpose, Lineker said: “Yes, and 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. 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 also called for restrictions on advertising by gambling firms and for alcohol products related to football. He said: “I have turned down deals with alcohol firms over the years. I do not agree with it.” – Agencies

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