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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ashleigh Rainbird

Alex Scott nearly quit Qatar World Cup after slew of vile abuse over armband

BBC host Alex Scott feared she would have to cut short her World Cup presenting duties after being bombarded with abuse.

The football pundit wore an armband supporting LGBTQIA+ rights but admits she was unprepared for the backlash that followed.

She said: "I hadn't processed the magnitude of it and the emotions around it. There I am in Qatar on the opening show. We spoke a lot about the politics and everything surrounding it and it was heavy.

"I remember coming off that show and being like, I don't know if I'm going to get through a month of this.

Alex Scott spoke about the World Cup whilst at an event hosted by Attitude magazine this week (Anthony Harvey/REX/Shutterstock)
She had worn a One Love armband whilst presenting in Qatar last year (BBC)

"The abuse, the trolling and ­everything had started. And then it was the England match the next day and we all woke up to the news of the armband being banned, the players now not wearing it because they might get a yellow card.

"I remember being so sad, this is what’s happening and we are stopping people wearing an armband."

But soon after Alex realised it was not just players who might wear the One Love armband.

Alex had been among the sports presenters at the World Cup (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

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She said: "I was standing with the kit man, Andy, looking out, just full of emotion. I said: 'Andy, no one's told me I can't wear an armband' – he said: 'Alex, you f***ing genius.' Reading from her memoirs at the ­Attitude magazine 101 lunch, empowered by Bentley, Alex added: "What this has made me do is start to process some of the events from last year which I haven’t done."

Dame Kelly Holmes, she added, had been "a superstar in my world when our paths crossed".

She has now spoken about the experience (Getty Images)

Holding up her armband at the event in Central London's Rosewood Hotel today, she said: "I remember saying to Kelly [Somers], who was going to interview me: 'Kelly don't say a word. I'm going to put this armband on and it's going to speak for itself."

Alex took a break after the tournament. She told the audience, which included Sir Elton John 's husband David Furnish : "So I disappeared.

"I went to Barbados for a little while. And then I came back to the UK and to say I appreciate and love so much people coming up to me and saying what wearing this armband meant to everyone."

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