The satirical panel show’s latest episode was broadcast on Friday (4 November), and was guest hosted by the retired footballer.
When the subject of the forthcoming World Cup in Qatar came up, Hislop did not hold back.
When the former Manchester United pro, who is commentating at the sporting contest, asked Hislop if “it’s coming home”, he replied: “What, your reputation?”
The decision to attend the contest in Qatar has been branded “unacceptable” due to the country’s human rights record as well as the controversy surrounding migrant workers who were injured in the run-up to the sporting event.
Many are boycotting the event due to the coutry’s stance on the LGBT community, and are calling out Fifa for its “defeaning silence” on the matter as the contest grows nearer.
Hislop, showing his serious side, said: “The others have been very gentle with you, Gary, but the elephant in the room is still there. You’re commentating there, aren’t you?”
When Neville replied in the affirmative, Hislop asked him what his “defence” was, to which he said: “Well, you’ve got a choice, I think, haven’t you?”
Hislop fired back: “What, going or not going?”
Neville defended his decision to to go to Qatar for work, stating: “My view always has been, you either highlight the issues and challenges in these countries, and speak about them, or you basically don’t say anything and stay back home, and don’t go. And I’ve always said we should challenge them.”
However, Hislop was not finished. He told Neville: “There’s another option: you stay at home and highlight the abuses. You don’t have to go and take the Qataris’ money… It’s just not a very good defence.”
Hislop was praised by viewers of the show for highlighting Neville’s “hypocrisy”.
“I like Gary Neville, but Ian Hislop and co on #HIGNFY pointing out his hypocrisy in going to the World Cup is bang on,” one viewer wrote, adding: “These people need to just be honest and say they are going for the money and stop pretending they care about the human rights issues, no one is being fooled.”
Another said: “Well done, Ian Hislop and co, for highlighting the hypocrisy of @GNev2 and the others making money off of the #QatarWorldCup2022 whilst pretending they give a shit about the human rights abuses.”
An additional viewer of the show stated: “Good on Ian Hislop for calling out Gary Neville on Qatar. I like Neville but unless his commentary contains constant criticism of Qatar and shines a bright light on its human rights abuses, he hasn’t got a foot to stand on.”
Journalist Jay Motty added: “Ian Hislop is bang on. Stinks of hypocrisy and Neville knows it.”
Find more reactions to Hislop’s comments below.
— Connor Andrews (@ConnorAndrewsTS) November 4, 2022
— Connor Cowan (@ConCowan9) November 4, 2022
Well done Ian hislop for making Gary Neville squirm tonight. He’s spot on 👏🏻 #hignfy
— John (@jcw_72) November 4, 2022
Ian Hislop had a very good point. Boycotting and staying home (if done by all) sends out a much stronger message than going “and having a bit of a moan” while getting paid and living it up.
— I think it's me (@lambypie100) November 4, 2022
Later during BBC One’s Friday schedules, chat show host Graham Norton ripped former health secretary Matt Hancock to shreds over his forthcoming appearance on the 2022 series of I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here.
The Fifa World Cup is taking place in Qatar between 20 November and 18 December.