World Cup 2022: Gary Lineker defends the BBC’s choice not to air the opening ceremony live

World Cup 2022: Gary Lineker defends the BBC’s choice not to air the opening ceremony live

Gary Lineker has deflected criticism after social media users accused the BBC of committing an own goal by not broadcasting the World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar.

In a tweet, the former England striker instead blamed Qatari organizers for the television gaffe, claiming that the event’s times had changed’recently’

The opening ceremony of the world’s largest football competition was held in the Al Bayt stadium in Doha, Qatar, where actor Morgan Freeman delivered a stirring monologue and Jung Kook of South Korean boy band BTS performed live.

The BBC was 20 minutes late to the show and instead aired a Women’s Super League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. As a result, British viewers lost out on a significant portion of the performance.

The opening match of the 2018 World Cup was broadcast on the red button, BBC iPlayer, and the BBC Sport website, but not on the network’s primary channels.

People on the Internet want to know why the BBC declined to show the World Cup’s opening match.

The criticism sparked a comment from former England striker Gary Lineker, who explained that the timing shift was “quite recent.”

The 61-year-old football expert tweeted, “Not true.” It was broadcast live on the BBC Sport website and red button. Recently, the time of the opening ceremony was moved to an earlier hour, and WSL was already confirmed. You could watch it if you desired.’

However, the response failed to assuage the anger of some internet fans, with many accusing the BBC of hypocrisy for retaining the tournament’s broadcast rights while simultaneously limiting viewership.

While one person stated they were “actually in tears” and wrote, “Gareth, I am horrified with the BBC,” another person said they were “absolutely speechless.” I’m not a football fan, but I was looking forward to the opening ceremony. I invited my entire family over for dinner, only to discover that the BBC had not shown the opening ceremony. Absolutely in tears. Will never pay for TV again.’

Mr. Lineker felt sorry for the football fan and responded, “God bless you.” Even though the World Cup opening ceremony is rarely shown live because it is unlike the Olympic equivalent, the full event was broadcast live on the BBC Sport website and the red button. It is still there if you wish to see it.

The BBC switched to its crew in Doha and refused to air the remainder of the opening ceremony on terrestrial television, instead airing a pre-packaged story on Qatar’s dubious human rights record and the controversy surrounding the event.

One social media user exclaimed, “So the BBC is not broadcasting the entire opening ceremony because of Qatar’s human rights record…. I understand… but then why are they there?’ one commentator said.

While another person commented, “@BBC, where is the World Cup opening ceremony?” I pay you guys for a television license, but I don’t want to hear or watch your negativity! If you didn’t want to show it, you could have given it to ITV or simply refused to air it!”

And one asked incredulously, “So no one broadcast the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Israel, and the BBC instead uses that time period to preach while its presenters make millions?”

To watch the opening ceremony, viewers had to access the BBC Sport channel via iPlayer or the red button and pick the appropriate channel.

Following weeks of criticism over the country’s human rights record, Morgan Freeman opened the World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar today in front of the country’s royals and rows of empty seats.

The actor narrated the event’s opening part titled ‘The Calling,’ assuring viewers that ‘we all come here as one giant tribe’ as supporters flocked on Doha’s city center in anticipation of the upcoming start of the world’s largest football festival.

He met with Qatari businessman Ghanim al Muftah, a FIFA World Cup Ambassador who was born with Caudal Regression Syndrome, a rare disease that hinders the development of the lower spine, who stated, ‘We sent out the appeal because everyone is welcome. This is an invitation sent to the entire world.

Freeman answered, “I recall that, even after hearing the call, we rejected it and insisted on our own route, rather than considering an alternative. And today the world feels more distant and divided than ever before.

On the pitch, hordes of dancers, a light show, camels, and a performance of the new tournament song Dreamers featuring K-pop boy band BTS singer Jung Kook and Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi followed.

Freeman’s appearance at the ceremony infuriated fans on social media, with one calling it “disappointing” and another stating, “When you have to act out a scene with Morgan Freeman “welcoming the entire world” to your country for a soccer tournament, you probably shouldn’t host the World Cup.”

One viewer stated that it was a’slap in the face’ to see the American in the stadium, while another expressed surprise that the actor would ‘tie his name to this,’ concluding that he must have been paid handsomely for the appearance.

Empty seats were visible in the Al Bayt Stadium during the ceremony, which included ‘Leta’Arafo (To Know One Another),’ ‘Chants of Nations,’ a World Cup Medley, and a showcase of the official mascots and Jung Kook of South Korean boy band BTS.

Qatar has been slammed for its treatment of foreign employees, LGBT rights, and social restrictions, and has staked its reputation on hosting a successful tournament.

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