Watch: Gary Lineker unafraid of 'p**sing off' Qatari hosts at World Cup
The World Cup is to take place in Qatar between 20 November and 18 December, but concerns have been raised over the country’s attitudes towards the LGBT community.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and Muslims can face the death penalty if prosecuted for it.
Qatar has also been strongly criticised for its human rights record and the conditions in which thousands of migrant workers have been subjected to as they build the infrastructure needed for the tournament.
Match Of The Day presenter Lineker, 61, has now insisted that those issues will be discussed on the BBC during the tournament – even if it angers the host nation.
Asked by The News Agents podcast host Emily Maitlis if he was afraid that he would “p**s off” Qatar, Lineker responded: “I’m not worried about that. Not in the slightest.”
He said: “We’ll be addressing the issues, we’ll be talking about them. And that’s the whole thing that we’re going through at the moment, is how do we do that.
“We’ve got the opening game and I’m sure we’ll discuss the issues of human rights, homophobia, of the problems with the stadiums and the lives of lost and workers’ rights, etc.”
Lineker has faced criticism for his decision to travel to Qatar to report on the tournament but he said that he is “going there to report it, not support it”.
The presenter added that it was his “responsibility” to travel to Qatar to report on the issues as well as the football.
His comments come after foreign secretary James Cleverly was criticised for suggesting that LGBT football fans heading to the World Cup should be “respectful of the host nation”.
Cleverly urged fans to show “a little bit of flex and compromise” and to “respect the culture of your host nation”.
Lineker was among those to question Cleverly’s remarks, writing on Twitter: “Whatever you do, don’t do anything gay. Is that the message?”
Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell claimed he had been arrested while staging an LGBT protest in Qatar last week.
In a video he claimed he was “subjected to interrogation” while detained for 49 minutes after carrying out the demonstration outside the national museum in Doha.
However, Qatar’s government office denied they had arrested Tatchell, insisting that he had been “cordially and professionally asked to move to the sidewalk” after being found standing on a roundabout.