England football great Gary Lineker has sparked outrage at the Rugby World Cup after a a derisory comment about New Zealand's Haka.
The former striker, and host of BBC's Match of the Day, weighed in on the Haka during the All Blacks' mauling of Canada at the World Cup.
In a since-deleted social media post, Lineker said it “must be so hard not to laugh at this if you're the opposition," in reference to New Zealand's pre-game tradition.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 2, 2019
The comments did not go down well with angry fans, while the ever-outspoken Piers Morgan took aim at Lineker as well as his former club Tottenham.
Lineker moved to clarify his initial comment, insisting he never intended to cause offence before deleting the post.
“I’ve deleted the tweet as it wasn’t intended that way in the slightest,” he said.
Harder not to laugh at Spurs, on balance. The Haka is one of the greatest spectacles in sport, and of huge cultural importance in New Zealand. Weird that you would mock it. https://t.co/GLg6tGATBt
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 2, 2019
Just a bit bored by it now. How would a dance in anyway intimidate a sportsman. Their rugby ability is another matter entirely but the Haka....nah.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) 2 October 2019
You're actually completely missing the point of the haka. It isn't meant to be intimidating. It is a challenge to the opposition. It is saying we respect you and we're going to do our best to beat you but we expect you to do the same
— hushmo (@hughmos) October 3, 2019
“I was just wondering why as an opposing sportsmen it would be in anyway intimidating after seeing it for so many years. I should probably have phrased it that way.”
All three Barrett brothers got on the scoresheet as reigning champions New Zealand stormed to their second victory of the Rugby World Cup with a 63-0 bonus point mauling of Canada at Oita Stadium on Wednesday.
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