Alan Shearer responds to Saudi controversy during World Cup debate live on BBC

When quizzed on Saudi Arabia’s ownership of Newcastle, Alan Shearer accepts that the right people ‘should be held to account’ over their human rights issues in that part of the world – even if he loves ‘the impact’ new owners have had on his club.

With the controversial Qatar World Cup beginning yesterday, Gary Lineker was keen to get the thoughts of the Newcastle legend over the Saudi-backed takeover on Tyneside.

While they have brought the excitement back to the city, there has been plenty of discussion over whether it is morally correct to have them involved in football, and that debate reared its head on BBC One last night.

Shearer spoke well about the issue, referring to all the other sports that countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia are involved in and defended Toon fans by stating ‘we don’t get to choose who invests in our football clubs.’

Here’s what he had to say prior to Ecuador’s win over Qatar:

“Well it’s not just Newcastle Gary, it’s not just football when you look at the F1, the boxing, the athletics, the LIV golf.

“We as fans don’t get to choose where the World Cup is, just like we don’t get to choose who invests in our football clubs.

“Do I love the impact it’s had on Newcastle? Absolutely, Newcastle are buzzing and playing some great football.

“But also, do I think the Saudis and other countries should be held to account over human rights? Absolutely, yes.”

Ultimately, this should not be a moral issue which your average football fan is forced to debate, it should be down to the higher authorities to sort out rather than putting the pressure on someone who has watched and supported their club for years or decades.

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