At the beginning of Sunday night’s broadcast, Gary told viewers: “[Qatar] has faced some big questions.
“From accusations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who built the stadiums where many lost their lives. Homosexuality is illegal here. Women’s rights and freedom of expression are in the spotlight.
“Against that backdrop, there is a tournament to be played here that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. ‘Stick to football,’ say FIFA. Well, we will, for a couple of minutes at least.”
During Monday’s edition of Good Morning Britain, anchor Susanna Reid pointed out that Gary was “facing criticism for being there, but, of course, he is doing his job”.
“He could do it from here,” Richard then interjected.
After GMB aired Gary’s speech, the former This Morning host continued: “Couldn’t you have covered it from here, Gary?
“You’ve got exactly the same communications, you’ve got the same screens, you’ve got the same earpieces in, it’s instantaneous coverage, it comes via satellite… you don’t have to be there. You do not have to be.
“I think that statement is what’s known as ‘having it both ways’, don’t you?”
Susanna then offered: “Gary might say that by being there and making that statement, that’s where the power is.
“It’s very easy to sit here, in a studio, and make criticisms but to actually be there is actually much stronger.”
However, Richard remained seemingly unconvinced.
“I get that argument, but do you think the Qataris could give a stuff?” he asked Susanna. “All they care [about] is they’ve got the World Cup.
“They don’t care what a football commentator says for two minutes before they go on to cover the game.”
Gary is not the only former England star to have come under fire for his involvement in the Qatar World Cup.
David Beckham has been met with a wave of criticism for accepting a reported £10m to serve as an ambassador for the Middle Eastern country, while Gary Neville also faced a grilling about his commentating role during a recent taping of Have I Got News For You.