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May 19, 2010updated 13 Mar 2023 5:56pm

Gary Lineker condemns press for publishing stories that are ‘basically just private issues’

Gary Lineker today spoke out about his decision to quit his column in the Mail on Sunday, in an article in The Independent.

Lineker confirmed his column will no longer be appearing in the Mail on Sunday following last weekend’s story by the newspaper, which led to the resignation of FA chairman Lord Triesman and threatened the country’s 2018 World Cup bid, as previously reported.

He said:

“It was clearly a case of entrapment. Whatever you think about Lord Triesman and whatever you feel about what he said, his comments were obviously meant for one person’s ears and one person’s ears only. And however ridiculous these comments might appear, they are very damaging. I think it’s a real shame the newspaper made the judgment that they did for short-term gain in sales of newspapers because it’s hard to see that there was any other positive from it.”

Lineker went on to criticise the “thirst in the press for negative stories” about England going into a major competition:

“I think it might be a time that we can perhaps reflect on this as a nation and perhaps think of the responsibility our newspapers have. They all seem to champion the national side and show patriotism but when push comes to shove and they have the opportunity of selling an extra few newspapers, at times I think they will make errors of judgment in stories that are basically just private issues.

“Maybe it’s a time when people think ‘is this right that private conversations can be turned into big stories?’ Perhaps people will now think a little bit deeper about the ramifications of stories that can come from newspapers.”

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