BBC rejects claim it is biased in favour of England at Euro 2020

·2-min read
Critics believe that BBC Euro 2020 coverage has been biased in favour of England (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Critics believe that BBC Euro 2020 coverage has been biased in favour of England (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The BBC has rejected claims that its coverage of the Euro 2020 football tournament has been biased in favour of England.

The broadcaster issued a strong rebuttal after being contacted by a number of viewers who said they were unhappy about pro-English comments made during the competition.

Alba MP Kenny MacAskill called for a devolution of the BBC two weeks ago. He claimed that the broadcaster frequently aired Paul Gascoigne’s goal against Scotland in 1996 in the build-up to England v Scotland at Euro 96.

The East Lothian MP, who defected from the SNP to former SNP leader Alex Salmond’s Alba Party this year, previously said: “Scots are sick of the constant mentions.

“Scots are scunnered with Euro commentators’ endless mentioning of the glories of ‘66 and Gazza’s goal.

“The need to see the world through a Scottish lens is clear. It’s time the Scottish Government spoke out rather than standing on the sidelines.”

Critics have also aired their views on Twitter over a “blatant” pro-England bias in the game commentary.

Responding to recent complaints, the BBC said it does not agree that its line-up of presenters, pundits, and commentators that include ex-professional footballers and managers, “shows any bias towards any one team”.

In a statement, the BBC also said: “We’ve received some complaints about our Euro 2020 coverage, from people who think our commentators or presenters are biased in favour of England.

“This year, our Euro team features a line-up of England, Scotland, and Wales experts, including Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand, Micah Richards, Alex Scott, Jermaine Jenas, Mark Hughes, Ashley Williams, Robbie Savage, James McFadden and Shelley Kerr.

“Dedicated team coverage will also be provided by home nations experts; Kelly Somers for England, Eilidh Barbour for Scotland, and Carl Roberts for Wales. We also feature international representation through Jurgen Klinsmann, Cesc Fabregas, Petr Cech and Eric Abidal.”

Scotland dropped out of the tournament last month after losing 3-1 to Croatia. England have made it to the semi-finals to play Denmark on Wednesday 7 July. The winner will play either Italy or Spain in the final on Sunday 11 July.

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