World Cup

Qatar signed up McAteer as ambassador to ‘dispel the myths’ about the country

The former Republic of Ireland winger was enlisted to promote the Middle East country’s hosting of the World Cup, in an attempt to counter negative coverage on human rights issues

Jason McAteer: former Republic of Ireland international has worked for Qatari media since at least 2014. Picture: Getty

Jason McAteer, the former Republic of Ireland footballer, was listed as an ambassador working to “dispel the myths” surrounding Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup by the country’s organising committee.

The use of McAteer and John Barnes, both former Liverpool players, was part of the country’s efforts to counter negative stories about issues including the treatment of LGBTQ+ people and the welfare of migrant workers.

An internal 2019 document prepared by Qatar’s organising committee, which has been seen by the Business Post, named McAteer and Barnes as ambassadors who would work to “reassure fans while also generating excitement” about the tournament.