World Cup bid unnerved Lineker

Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Gary Lineker has revealed he was asked to fawn over FIFA dignitaries during England’s 2018 World Cup bid and admits the experience left him feeling he needed “a good shower”.

Lineker was invited to join England’s bid team as they tried to earn enough votes from FIFA’s 22 executive members to stage the 2018 tournament, which was eventually awarded to Russia.

The bidding process for both the World Cups in 2018 and 2022, which was won by Qatar, are now under investigation, with a revote remaining a possibility for both competitions.

Lineker insists a career in the administrative side of the game has never appealed to him and admits his experience of the bid did little to change his mind.

“I wasn’t really involved in the bid, but the night before the two World Cup votes were announced, I was invited over at the last minute and asked to be nice, in a creepy sort of way, towards various dignitaries,” said Lineker, speaking at the launch of BT Sport’s European football coverage.

“I don’t like pretending to be nice and crawling up people’s backsides, for the want of a better phrase – and we were the only ones doing it.

“I was sitting having a burger with David Beckham at the end of the night, and I said to him, ‘Have you noticed we seem to be the only nation doing this? I’ve got the feeling it might already be done’.

“At the end, I had that sense of needing a good shower. I’m not a political animal, I don’t really want to get involved in that side of the game.”

Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by The News Editor

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