Neville 'detests' Qatar rights abuses but 'does NOT feel conflicted' attending

  /  autty

Gary Neville has once again defended his decision to attend the World Cup despite 'detesting' the human rights abuses of hosts Qatar.

The pundit has been very outspoken on the poor conditions for and deaths of migrant workers building the competition infrastructure, the lack of women's rights and the egregious human rights record of the Middle Eastern country.

Neville, who is working for Qatari broadcaster beIN SPORTS in Qatar, has been accused of hypocrisy - but insists he 'does not feel conflicted' about going to the tournament.

He said: 'I don't feel conflicted... in the last few weeks that's come under huge scrutiny. I accept that position because I'm there to be shot at, and people have criticised me heavily as well as our colleagues over on the BBC who were yesterday.

'But the reality of it is, my view on it quite simply is that I detest workers' rights abuses, I hate the idea of people not being paid enough money, working in poor conditions, the idea of people not having good accommodation. The women's rights and human rights abuses. I can't stand it.

'But I also have relationships with people in this part of the world and have done for many many years. Those relationships are long standing in our country. The fact that we buy most of our energy from the Middle East, that they own our banks, and the Royal Family have relationships with the Middle East - both sporting and charitable.

'You think our government and political parties have relationships with the Middle East. They own London Heathrow airport, they own the London stock exchange. It's football that's brought the scrutiny. And football tournaments that have brought the scrutiny on issues that exist in these parts of the world.'

Neville, 47, claimed England manager Gareth Southgate and his Three Lions coaching staff should wear the 'OneLove' rainbow armband showing support for gay people after captain Harry Kane and Co were forced to back down on wearing it.

Football's governing body FIFA on Monday made a U-turn, suddenly insisting skippers like Kane would receive a yellow card for wearing the band during the match - in a mockery of their supposedly equal, neutral stance in the tournament.

Related: Tottenham Hotspur England Gary Neville Kane
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