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English footballer mocks haka

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English football star mocks haka as World Rugby makes epic fail

NZ Herald

English football legend Gary Lineker took shots at the haka after the All Blacks dominant performance against Canada last night, but it’s World Rugby’s response on Twitter that has punters scratching their heads.

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.”

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.

England 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.”

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.

This article first appeared on the NZ Herald and is re-published with permission here

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English football star mocks haka as World Rugby makes epic fail