Pro-Hamas website hails Gary Lineker after he shared call to ban Israel from football

Quds News Network described the BBC presenter as a ‘renowned English broadcaster’


(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Hamas supporters have praised Gary Lineker for sharing a post that called for Israel to be banned from international football.

According to The Daily Telegraph the outspoken BBC presenter later deleted the tweet.

A source told the paper that the BBC presenter thought he was sharing a story about Israel being booted out of international tournaments and was not encouraging people to back the ban.

Despite rowing back on his post, pro-Hamas officials welcomed him sharing the tweet.

The Quds News Network, a Palestinian youth news agency affiliated to Hamas, ran with the headline 'Renowned English broadcaster calls for Israel to be banned from international [football]'.

The former footballer turned pundit faced criticism from politicians for his post and the BBC was told to take action against the “out of control” Match of the Day host.

Tory MP Damian Green, who sits on the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said: “Gary Lineker continues with ever more controversial views, in this case directly affecting football. I want to see the BBC enforce its own guidelines on this.”

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant added: “Gary Lineker is out of control. Surely the BBC must take action now that he is, in effect, giving comfort to the terror organisation Hamas.”

Lord Austin said: “Gary Lineker is... undermining confidence in the impartiality on which the BBC's public funding depends and is making the corporation's board and senior managers look utterly foolish.”

A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Gary Lineker has a lot to say about a lot of things, but antisemitism does not appear to be one of them. At a time of record levels of racism against Jews, not a peep.

“But he has found the time to amplify a call to suspend the world's only Jewish state from international sports. His priorities are clear. The fact that a Hamas-run network has commended him for his post shows the sort of audience to which he is, presumably unwittingly, catering.”

The BBC declined to comment.

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