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Lineker: I needed a shower after schmoozing Fifa delegates for World Cup bid

The MOTD pun-master was not shocked by the latest scandal.

MATCH OF THE DAY presenter Gary Lineker says that he “needed a shower” after sweet-talking Fifa voters in the lead-up to the ballot for World Cup 2018.

The Football Association’s bid team sought the former World Cup Golden Boot winner’s presence in Switzerland in 2010 as they attempted to bring back the tournament to England, though Russia controversially won the bid.

Fifa has since found itself at the centre of a huge corruption storm that has brought down president Sepp Blatter and Lineker says that he is hardly surprised after feeling that the process was a grubby one.

“I couldn’t bear it,” he recalled at the launch of BT Sport Europe. “I wasn’t really involved in the bid but at the last minute they asked me to come over – I think because they heard I played golf with [the Uefa president] Michel Platini. We were in the lobby the night before the vote and we were asked to be really nice and creepy to all these people. It wasn’t me. I don’t like pretending to crawl up people’s backsides – and we were the only ones doing it.

“I remember I was sat with David Beckham and turned to him at one point and said: ‘Have you noticed we’re the only nation that’s doing this? Do you get the feeling that it might already be done?’ So I had that sense at the end of it all of needing a shower.

“It’s not surprising to people to see the levels of corruption that engulfed Fifa over such a long period of time. I think it’s just the scale of the way the house of cards is falling and the speed of it is quite staggering.

“I’m not sure being delighted about that is a good thing. It’s a very good thing to see this massive amount of corruption being exposed but it’s also pretty depressing as someone who, like most people, loves the game of football. And depressing to think that it’s been run the way that it’s been run for such a long time. You sort of hope that this is a seminal moment and that something is done but it’s going to be really difficult.

“It’s going to take a long time. We’re going to have to get someone in of unquestionable integrity to run this thing. His whole job will be to turn Fifa in to a respectable organisation again, which is going to take some doing, but the alternatives are what – a breakaway, with a fresh start and Fifa tries to carry on? But then you end up like the boxing world where you have all sorts of different world titles.

“So it’s a slightly worrying stage as well at the moment because who knows what’s going to happen to the World Cup. It’s a wonderful tournament sadly run by people that shouldn’t be running something of that magnitude and something that’s loved by people right around the world.”

It doesn’t sound like Martin O’Neill is expecting a pretty game against Scotland

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