Gary Lineker wears rainbow ribbon whilst hosting World Cup Draw in Moscow

Gary Lineker has worn a rainbow wristband in Moscow whilst hosting the draw for the 2018 World Cup.

The gesture, in support of the LGBT+ community, comes after Lineker criticised FIFA for choosing Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.

Journalists present at the draw reported that Lineker wore the wristband at the Moscow draw.


The Times Sports chief football writer Henry Winter tweeted: “Gary Lineker wore a rainbow ribbon on his wrist supporting LGBT equality while hosting #WorldCupDraw in Moscow.”

The gesture comes despite Russia having a national law which bans the ‘promotion of non-traditional sexual relations’ to minors.

And five years after Lineker was heavily critical of the decision to announce Russia as the 2018 host country.

Back in 2012, Lineker tweeted that it was “even more ludicrous” of FIFA to award the honour to Russia.

Then in 2014, he tweeted: “It makes you feel sick actually, the whole FIFA thing. The corruption at the top level is nauseous.”


In 2015, he said FIFA was a “revolting organisation” and a year later said it was “a disgrace”.

But the tweets now appear to have been deleted.

It is reported that Lineker accepted a £20,000 fee to host the World Cup draw in Moscow.

Some have criticised him for appearing at all, given his past stance, and for appearing alongside President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin.

As well as appearing at the event, Lineker also posted pictures of himself in Red Square and at the Tsar Bell.

The former England captain also blew out candles on a cake to celebrate his 57th birthday.

The cake was presented to him by the Russian hosts of the event.

The draw was opened by Mr Putin who promised that the tournament would see “friendly and honest competition”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin getty


The decision to allow Russia to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi back in 2014 was heavily criticised given the country’s anti-gay law.

And Russia has been accused of state-sponsored cheating in sports, including at Sochi.

Russia’s Football Union has insisted that gay fans will not face prosecution for holding hands or carrying rainbow flags, despite the country’s gay propaganda law.

It was reported earlier this week that fans travelling to Russia for the 2018 World Cup would be warned by rights groups to avoid holding hands or bringing rainbow flags.