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'Atrocious' Richard Keys and Andy Gray slammed for lavishing praise on controversial Qatar World Cup

  • Richard Keys and Andy Gray spoke glowingly about the 2022 Qatar World Cup
  • The pair talked up the World Cup while on Qatar-based broadcaster BeIn Sports
  • Keys and Gray both dismissed the political issues surrounding the tournament 
  • Qatar are controversial hosts with concerns around World Cup bidding process 

Twitter has taken aim at Richard Keys and Andy Gray after the pair spoke glowingly of the controversial Qatar World Cup during a discussion on BeIn Sports, a broadcaster based in the country's capital.

Keys and Gray spoke to Peter Reid after the ex-England international visited with Hassan Al-Thawadi, the Qatari official head of the 2022 World Cup committee.

Reid described his tour around Qatar's stadiums as 'very, very impressive' and said the infrastructure 'will be amazing' for the 2022 World Cup. 

Andy Gray on BeIn Sport
Richard Keys spoke glowingly about the World Cup in Qatar

Andy Gray (left) and Richard Keys (right) hailed the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar

And Reid's comments preceded a sycophantic conversation between Gray and Keys in which they spoke glowingly of the 2022 World Cup while dismissing any political or logistical concerns around the tournament.  

'FIFA have always wanted to have winter World Cup, well it's winter for the northern hemisphere countries,' claimed Gray. 'They've always wanted this so players are fresh and ready to play while in a small country where travel is no problem.

Gray, who is celebrating five years since he and Keys joined Qatar broadcaster BeIn Sport, continued: 'I was a sceptic before I arrived but since I've been here you get one over. 

Twitter criticised the discussion and Benjamin Wills likened it to a Qatar 2022 propaganda film
Twitter criticised the discussion and Benjamin Wills likened it to a Qatar 2022 propaganda film

Twitter criticised the discussion and Benjamin Wills likened it to a Qatar 2022 propaganda film

'Politically I know nothing about what’s happening. But from what we see culturally they are very proud about being given the World Cup and are so determined to make it a success. The infrastructure will make a huge difference.'

Journalist Nick Metcalfe described the BeIn Sport segment as 'both funny and atrocious', saying both Keys and Gray come across 'dreadfully' in a tweet.

Another Twitter user Benjamin Wills meanwhile ridiculed Gray's comment that he didn't know what was going on politically in Qatar and likened the discussion to producing a propaganda film for the 2022 World Cup.  

'When you talk about the politics, it has caused a lot of consternation and jealousy,' Keys continued. 'There have been countries within this region that have worked very hard to take the World Cup from [Qatar].'

Keys said Qatar winning the World Cup bid will cause a 'lot of consternation and jealousy'

Keys said Qatar winning the World Cup bid will cause a 'lot of consternation and jealousy'

Ignoring the political climate but focusing on his own experiences in the country, Keys added: 'Culturally I’ve enjoyed being in this part of the world. 

'If I leave my keys in the car, it will be there when I am back, if I leave my keys in the front door I know no one is going to break in when I’m away.'

The broadcaster then embarked on a bizarre three-minute rant about a state-sponsored Saudi Arabian bootlegging operation, who he hit out at for stealing and reproducing BeIn Sports' content illegally.

The Qatar World Cup has garnered widespread criticism over the regime's human rights violations, with some suggestions they could be prevented from hosting. 

Keys and Gray hailed the infrastructure of the stadiums used for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar 

Keys and Gray hailed the infrastructure of the stadiums used for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar 

Research carried out by Human Rights Watch found that migrant construction workers building the stadiums in Qatar were working in potentially life-threatening heat and humidity. 

The bidding process which awarded Qatar the World Cup was also marred by allegations of corruption from FIFA officials including former chief Sepp Blatter.

The 2022 World Cup will be the first tournament played in the winter to avoid Qatar's summer weather, which can see temperatures top 40 degrees. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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