The BBC coverage of the World Cup has been slammed by Conservative MP Julian Knight with the member for Solihull suggesting the broadcaster had gone too ‘woke’. The Beeb have received over 1,500 complaints since the tournament got underway last Sunday with many unhappy with Gary Lineker and co’s criticisms of host nation Qatar.
The BBC share broadcasting rights for the World Cup with ITV with the two sharing every tournament since 1966. However, this year’s event in Qatar is the most controversial World Cup of all time given the Middle-Eastern nation’s record on human rights and LGBTQ+ laws. The competition has also carried a huge environmental cost given the carbon emissions generated by building the Stadiums.
The Beeb have looked to highlight these issues through their coverage. However, it has not been to everyone’s taste, with many voicing their complaints. Mr Knight is one of those unhappy with what the broadcaster has produced suggesting they have gone ‘woke’.
“It’s boring, that’s the problem with it. Viewers, they’ve been lectured to, aren’t they?” he told GB News. “I mean, one that got my goat and I think got some of my constituent’s goats was the other day when they broke up half-time coverage to talk about the environment and climate change, etc.
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“I think basically Gary Lineker writes his own rules,” he explained. “When the director general of the BBC said that he needed to pull his horns and he just made fun of him.
“How much carbon offsetting is sort of done by the BBC for all the hot air emitting from Gary Lineker, on political issues?
“He loves to venture off on all sorts of areas often [from a ] very… ill-informed, woke viewpoint, when actually, the truth of the matter is that he’s paid to present football matches and maybe perhaps here, so maybe he and some of his colleagues should just stick to it.”
BBC’s coverage of the World Cup continues with three live matches including Spain against Germany while the Battle of Britain clash between Wales and England will also be live on BBC One.
A statement from the broadcaster in response to Knight’s claims read: “While we have a long history of bringing major international football tournaments to audiences, including of course, all the action on the pitch, we also have a proven record of addressing topical issues as part of our coverage, and this World Cup is no different.”