“The Haka is one of the greatest spectacles in sport, and of huge cultural importance in New Zealand. Weird that you would mock it.”
“The Haka is one of the greatest spectacles in sport, and of huge cultural importance in New Zealand. Weird that you would mock it.”

'Hard not to just laugh at this if you’re the opposition'

English football legend Gary Lineker has deleted a social media post after firing a shot at the haka in the All Blacks' dominant performance against Canada.

After the All Blacks performed the haka before their 63-0 demolition of Canada, Lineker tweeted: "Must be so hard not to just laugh at this if you're the opposition."

Lineker has since deleted the tweet.

"I've deleted the tweet as it wasn't intended that way in the slightest. 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," he said.

After the initial post, the official Rugby World Cup account then attempted a takedown of the famous footballer, writing: "But they have won the World Cup three times...one would be nice eh?"

Which would be a fair comment if England hadn't taken the Webb Ellis Trophy but as anyone with a passing interest in rugby will tell you, they have.

The Poms took out the prize in 2003, beating Australia after they defeated the All Blacks in the semifinal.

Twitter users were quick to leap on the embarrassing mistake, with one man writing: "Is the work experience lad in charge of the official Rugby World Cup twitter feed today?"

More criticism was levelled at Lineker's original tone-deaf tweet, including from media commentator Piers Morgan, an ardent Arsenal supporter, who took a swipe at Lineker's former club Tottenham Hotspur.

"The Haka is one of the greatest spectacles in sport, and of huge cultural importance in New Zealand," Morgan wrote. "Weird that you would mock it."

One user said: "I'd delete this one Gary, if you don't understand the culture behind it… this can be seen as disrespectful."

Another commented: "The fact that Lineker doesn't see this post as racist is frightening. Hang your head in shame Gary."

 

New Zealand's captain Kieran Read leads the haka.
New Zealand's captain Kieran Read leads the haka.

Lineker replied to the criticism, writing: "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."

Lineker failed to win the football World Cup in either of his two appearances in 1986 and 1990, though he did win the Golden Boot for most goals in 1986.

England hasn't won a Football World Cup since 1966, despite inventing the game, and their 2003 Rugby World Cup win remains their solitary Webb Ellis Trophy.


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