Following his appearance as a guest presenter on ‘Have I Got News For You’, Gary Neville has found himself in an uncomfortable spotlight. As he comes under scrutiny over his latest endeavor, the Telegraph’s chief sports editor, Oliver Brown, has launched a scathing tirade about Neville’s moral compass.
Brown, early in his report, criticizes Neville for being a hypocrite and it was Ian Hislop, a captain on the show, who backed up his point.
Brown writes: “The editor of ‘Private Eye’ has lacerated politicians of all stripes over contradictions between what they say in public and what they do in private. With Neville as guest presenter, he was handed perhaps the biggest open goal of all”.
When the topic moved to the World Cup, David Beckham and Robbie Williams were criticized for their participation in the World Cup in Qatar.
However, as Brown put it, “they danced over the fact that their host had just struck a nice deal with Doha’s beIN Sports.”
Hislop questioned on the show: “The others have been very nice to you, but the elephant in the room is still there. You’re commenting there, right?
Neville defiantly confirmed that it was. “My opinion has always been that you highlight the abuses in these countries, or you say nothing and stay home.”
Hislop responded: “There is another option, you stay home and report abuse. You don’t have to accept money from Qataris.” The audience cheered as Neville was dumbfounded.
Brown brings us back to previous comments Neville has made. In May, the former United defender took to Instagram to declare: “I am not a socialist, I am a capitalist. I believe in entrepreneurship. I believe in companies that make a profit. I believe in lower taxes.”
Brown goes on to point out that five months later he was photographed alongside Keir Starmer, stating that the Conservatives were a cancer in the UK.
Perhaps Neville’s foray into politics is somewhat misguided and inconsistent, but Brown’s biggest criticism of Neville is the role he is playing in the World Cup, and he goes on to point out that his experiences in Qatar will be far removed from the people who have to live and work. there day by day.
And while Neville has stated that he will highlight the abuses, Brown is skeptical. “He will not abandon an analysis of Harry Kane’s positioning to lash out at Qatar’s laws on homosexuality.”
However, Neville is a football man: his job was never to get involved in politics, his job was simply to report on the game itself, as an expert in that field. He is not an expert in international law or human rights, and his voice has no authority within FIFA.
While it’s doubtful Neville needs the money, it’s his job to report on the action and most of those criticizing Neville’s stance will no doubt be watching the action themselves, even if it’s just from their own homes, and surely that in itself. same. he is a hypocrite?
To truly oppose the Qatari regime, everyone would have to boycott the tournament, but I doubt Brown will refuse to turn on his television or refrain from commenting on the action.
Though Neville will no doubt speak up when he sees fit, Brown says it’s too little too late.
Neville is taking a lot more beatings than David Beckham, who, as Brown puts it, gets “£10m as chief propagandist for the World Cup”, but goes on to argue that this is because Beckham holds to his political views. more “abstract”. ”
So are we punishing Neville for his stance on the World Cup or because he has previously spoken out on other political issues?
By this logic, should we call out Marcus Rashford for wanting to be part of the England squad heading to Qatar? He has a moral compass and has been involved in the political affairs of this country in recent years. The vast majority of us agreed with his points and campaigns, but we would also like him to represent his country on the world football stage. Should he be held accountable for going out there? Well, no, that would be ridiculous.
Brown concludes his argument by saying that it “means that Neville’s stance as football’s morality police can no longer be taken seriously.”
Although I get your point, Neville is simply a soccer expert with knowledge and a passion for the beautiful game. He feels like he’s being made into a scapegoat, a bad guy who never really had the authority to change the landscape of this World Cup or anyone else’s thoughts on it.
If Neville took a stand and refused to go, what would it accomplish? Would Qatar change its laws? Would they try to improve their human rights record? Wouldn’t the World Cup be held here anymore? The answer is no.
So I agree with Oliver Brown on one point: It’s too little, too late. But the finger of blame should not be pointed at Gary Neville or any other journalist or pundits trying to do his job, but at the organizations and governing bodies that actually have a say in these decisions.