A NUMBER of Tory MPs have demanded sanctions against Gary Lineker after he retweeted a call for Israel to be banned from international football due to the country's bombardment of Gaza.

The Match of the Day presenter reposted a statement on Twitter/X from a pro-Palestinian campaign calling for Israel to be removed from all global tournaments “until it ends grave violations of international law”.

Israeli clubs currently compete in a number of Uefa competitions, including the Champions League, and the national side remains in the running to qualify for this summer’s European Championships in Germany.

The National:

The post Lineker shared was from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel.

It included a statement from the Palestinian Football Association which called upon Fifa and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to join all regional and global sporting bodies in sanctioning Israel.

Similar measures were introduced following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with debate previously sparked when Russian and Belarusian tennis players were barred from playing in Wimbledon in 2022.

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The statement from the campaign group demanded sporting bodies “take an urgent stance towards Israel’s grave violations of human rights and subject it to legal accountability measures”.

It went on to demand the public and officials pressure Fifa and the IOC “to suspend Israel’s membership and ban it from international tournaments and games until it ends its grave violations of international law, particularly its apartheid rule and the crime of genocide it is perpetuating in Gaza”.

The news comes following last week’s trial at the International Court of Justice where South Africa brought its genocide case against Israel.

A number of Tory MPs hit out at Lineker for his comments, including the party’s deputy chairman Lee Anderson (below).

The National: Lee Anderson

He said: “Licence fee payers are fed up of footing the bill for Lineker’s musings on international politics.

“It’s about time BBC bosses decided whether Gary’s right-on rubbish is in keeping with their social media rulebook.”

Elsewhere, MP Andrew Percy commented: "Gary Lineker is an ill-informed, ignorant commentator on the Middle East. 

"The BDS movement (to boycott Israel) is a racist, anti-Semitic campaign and nobody who receives taxpayers' money working in the BBC should be endorsing a campaign that is widely understood to promote Jew hate."

He added: "There has to be a line where the BBC has to intervene and him endorsing a racist campaign, which is what the BDS group is widely understood to be, surely must be a new low if they're going to allow him to get away with that."

Lineker was previously forced to step back from his presenting duties on Match of the Day after likening Suella Braverman’s rhetoric to that of 1930s Germany.

Former cabinet minister Stephen Crabb meanwhile said: "This is a deeply inappropriate tweet for any BBC figure to endorse, and especially for someone of Lineker's prominence."

Tory MP for Stoke-on-Trent North Jonathan Gullis meanwhile said: "Hamas harms the people they claim to represent, stealing aid off the people of Gaza, using innocent Gazans as human shields and throwing LGBT+ people off buildings. 

"All this whilst their leaders live a life of luxury in Qatar. We wait for international diplomat and foreign policy expert, Gary Lineker, to call this out soon."