Gary Lineker needs to see a Premier League participant come out as homosexual throughout the Qatar World Cup to ship a robust message to a bunch nation the place homosexuality stays a criminal offense.
Former England striker Lineker instructed the Daily Mirror he is aware of of two homosexual Premier League gamers, saying they’d been “very close” to popping out prior to now.
“It would be great if one or two of them came out during the World Cup. It would be amazing,” Lineker mentioned. “I know for a fact that some have been very close and contemplated it. There’s a couple I know, but obviously it’s not for me to say who they are.”
The World Cup kicks off on 20 November in Qatar, a nation the place same-sex sexual exercise is punishable by seven years in jail, and even dying by stoning for Muslim males underneath Sharia regulation.
This week Qatar’s World Cup chief Nasser Al Khater sought to present assurances to LGBTQ+ followers that they might be welcomed on the event, however apparent issues stay and plenty of are anxious for his or her security.
England captain Harry Kane has promised to put on a OneLove armband throughout the event, even whether it is banned by FIFA.
Jake Daniels of Championship facet Blackpool and Australian Josh Cavallo of Adelaide United are the highest-profile gamers to have come out so far.
Asked why extra had not adopted, Lineker mentioned: “Fear. Fear of the unknown, I imagine. Perhaps they are worried what their team-mates might think, although they probably already know.
“It seems insane that it should even be a thing. People say, ‘Yeah, but the crowds.” And I say, ‘Well the crowds chant anyway’. You’re at all times going to get just a few idiots. But it’s simple for me to say as I’m not in that place.”
Lineker had hoped Cavallo and Daniels would immediate different gamers to come back out, and recommended the primary Premier League participant to take action would make themselves extra marketable.
“I was hoping, because there are lots of players that are having to live a lie,” he mentioned. “I’m sure it’s very difficult. But I think what we’ve seen so far is that the feedback and the response, it will be incredibly positive.
“If I were an agent of a big footballer, if I knew one of my players was gay, if he was a top player, I’d say, ‘Be the first big player’. I mean, as an agent, thinking in terms of promotion and stuff, you’re going to be huge.”
Lineker mentioned he turned down the chance to host April’s World Cup draw, saying he didn’t wish to do it given his report of criticising corruption across the awarding of the event.
“It’s a different Fifa now,” he mentioned. “But I felt, rather than where I said I’m there to report on the World Cup rather than support it, doing the draw for Fifa would be supporting the World Cup and supporting the decision.”
And the tv presenter mentioned the BBC’s protection of the World Cup would cowl the controversy round Qatar as a bunch nation – together with its report on human rights and the migrant employees who constructed the stadiums.
“I’m sure we’ll do it on the first night,” he mentioned. “Obviously, we’re not going to do it in every build-up to every game, but of course we’ll talk about it and openly.”