Piers Morgan has blasted the BBC after the broadcaster did not show the World Cup’s opening ceremony in Qatar as part of their coverage for the opening fixture between the hosts and Ecuador. The programme, which aired on BBC One, did not start until 3pm in the UK – just one hour before kick-off at the Al Bayt Stadium in Doha – where the ceremony had virtually finished by the time Gary Lineker appeared on TV screens.
The call seemingly irked Morgan, who has now hit out at the decision with a strong-worded message posted on his Twitter account, which also seems to dig at long-standing broadcast rival Gary Lineker.
He tweeted: “Outrageously disrespectful to Qatar that the BBC didn’t broadcast the World Cup opening ceremony and instead put out more virtue-signalling guff about how awful it is.
“If they’re that appalled, they should bring home their vast army of employees & spare us this absurd hypocrisy.”
A BBC spokesperson has since responded to criticism by confirming the ceremony was shown on iPlayer: “Full build up and coverage of the World Cup has been available across the BBC, including the opening ceremony on iPlayer.”
Lineker started the BBC’s coverage for Qatar vs Ecuador by openly criticising the hosts’ human rights record and shameful treatment of migrant workers – meaning the build-up to the Group A opener was largely dominated by discussion centred around off-field issues.
Following the opening monologue, Lineker later described this World Cup as the “the most controversial in history.”
There was an engaging discussions centred around Qatar’s discriminatory LGBTQ+ laws with Alan Shearer, Alex Scott and Ashley Williams, who were all in the studio to provide coverage on the World Cup opener.
Lead presented Lineker also declared that he would be ignoring FIFA’s “stick to football” message that has been delivered prior to the tournament as he looks to shine a light on some of the political issues the World Cup has presented.
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