Lineker has frequently castigated football’s global ruling body in interviews and on social media, before and since the downfall of Sepp Blatter’s corrupt regime in 2015, making him the least likely former international star to be involved in the showcase ceremony at the State Kremlin Palace on December 1.
But Lineker, who was the tournament’s top scorer with six goals at Mexico 86, is expected to be confirmed shortly in an important role.
BBC football presenter Gary Lineker is set to play a role in the World Cup draw in Moscow
The Match of the Day presenter has been a ferocious critic of football’s global ruling body
Match of the Day anchorman Lineker would normally have hosted the BBC’s coverage of the event, but Mark Chapman has been chosen to deputise, with Lineker unavailable.
German Miroslav Klose, the leading scorer in World Cup finals history, will carry the trophy into the draw, with other guests to be announced after the last qualifier has been played.
In 2014, Lineker called it ‘ludicrous’ that Qatar would stage the 2022 World Cup, adding: ‘It makes you feel sick actually, the whole FIFA thing. The corruption at the top level is nauseous.’
The next year he said of FIFA: ‘The only way this revolting organisation will change is if the major football federations walk out.’
And in 2016, after FIFA had fined the home nations for displaying remembrance poppies, he said: ‘Football is dying with these clowns having governance. FIFA are a disgrace.’
Miroslav Klose, leading scorer in World Cup finals history, will carry the trophy into the draw
Leading golf agent Chubby Chandler has settled his legal dispute with former friend and client Lee Westwood, leaving both sides clear to go their separate ways. Lawyers have issued statements drawing a line under the sad conflict that saw Westwood (right) leave Chandler’s ISM for IMG. Westwood’s pal and ISM stablemate Danny Willett has also quit the sports management agency in the fall-out.
A permanent England captain will finally be named by Gareth Southgate before the World Cup and Tottenham’s Eric Dier made a very strong case for the role over the international week. He is considered tactically astute by Southgate and was conspicuously telling team-mates where to pass the ball in the Germany and Brazil friendlies. Off the field, Dier’s fluent Portuguese impressed the Brazilian media.
Gareth Southgate will soon name his permanent England captain and Eric Dier staked his claim
The cancellation of next month’s Soccerex conference in Doha is a sign that the blockade against Qatar by Gulf states over the country’s alleged funding of terrorism is impacting on football. The event was aimed at the Asian market and difficulties travelling to Qatar were insurmountable.
Gareth keeps clubs sweet
Gareth Southgate will not risk a fall-out with clubs by arranging an England squad get-together over the winter, as predecessor Roy Hodgson did.
The clubs blocked Hodgson’s move on the first occasion and the next year FA chief executive Martin Glenn had to plead his case at a PL summit.
Southgate said he was not sure about the value of one meeting, saying he preferred to visit players at their clubs. England are not in action again until late March.
Southgate won’t risk a fall-out with clubs by arranging a squad get-together over the winter
The Brazilian football federation, who aggressively commercialise their friendly matches, went to the extent of bringing their sponsors’ backdrop into the managers’ press conference after the England game. The team operative who set it up then spent so long interpreting Brazil coach Tite’s comments that he ensured the TV cameras lingered on the team’s roster of sponsors for the maximum time.
The FA invited media representatives from all 20 Premier League clubs to the Brazil game. Pity that none of them stayed to watch how the FA organise post-match player interviews far more successfully than the clubs do, with Arsenal the worst offenders.
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.