08/10/2012 05:56 BST

Gary Lineker Mocks Praying Muslim Footballers For 'Eating Grass' On Al Jazeera TV (VIDEO)

Gary Lineker accidentally caused uproar on Al Jazeera TV after describing the actions of two Muslim players, who had adopted the traditional Islamic prayer position, as "eating grass".

During Wednesday night’s Champions League game between Schalke and Montpellier, Lineker discussed Karim Ait-Fana's first goal for the French side, saying: "A terrific effort from Karim Ait-Fana, who scored from just outside the area and then ate grass ... as you do."

Ait-Fana, with teammate Younes Belhanda, adopted the Sajda, with their foreheads pressed on the ground.

The BBC pundit took to Twitter to apologise for the remark, but said he could not be expected to know the religion of each player.


Montpellier's Karim Ait-Fana, left, scores the opening goal against Schalke

It prompted an angry reaction from some followers on Twitter:

Imam Ajmal Masroor told "It's a stupid remark and sheer ignorance. This is very unprofessional from a football legend who is supposed to be a role model.

"The fact it was on Al Jazeera makes it even more unacceptable. The players are not asking anyone else to join in their worship they are making a gesture in thanks to God - saying they are 'eating grass' is outrageous.

"I am stunned - seeing this makes me sick.

"He should apologise or be sacked by Al Jazeera. If someone makes the gesture of the cross and a commentator mocked them I would deem that equally offensive.

"It's not an outsider's right to belittle or mock players for making a religious gesture."