Top five: TV football gaffes

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Poor old ITV were at it again last night. With a place in the Champions League final up for grabs for either Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and the game poised delicately in extra time, the broadcaster cut to a shot of hapless newsreader Mark Austin preparing to read the nightly news bulletin as the action continued at the Santiago Bernabeu.


Unfortunately ITV have something of a reputation for tarnishing the moment for viewers immersed in the action– but its not just them that have let technical hitches and plain idiocy mar the coverage of a big game as GMF’s top five TV football gaffes shows.


Everton v Liverpool, FA Cup, 2009


ITV get the ball rolling with a high-profile error that infuriated Merseyside back in 2009.


The FA Cup fourth round replay between Liverpool and Everton was heading for a tense finish with the scores level, when ITV cut away from the action to mistakenly broadcast an advert, before returning to Goodison Park to show the Everton players deliriously celebrating Dan Gosling’s dramatic winner.


ITV’s former executive chairman Michael Grade described the incident as a ‘shambles on air’, while presenter Steve Ryder explained that the goal came ‘at the worst possible time for us.’ (Watch Here)


England v USA, World Cup, 2010


The build up to the 2010 World Cup had been intense for England as Fabio Capello led the Three Lions to South Africa on a wave of optimism after an almost immaculate qualifying campaign that had helped raise hopes to a new level.


After weeks of talking and anticipation England got their campaign up and running with a bang in their opening fixture as Steven Gerrard slotted home inside four minutes against USA to cue wild celebrations from a nation – except the 1.5 million watching it on ITV HD. (Watch Here)


What they saw instead of Gerrard’s opener – a goal that would prove to be the high point of England’s shambolic campaign – was an advert for Hyundai.


ITV attributed the gaff to ‘human error’ and apologised ‘unreservedly’ for the 20 second malfunction.


Ron Atkinson and Marcel Desailly, Champions League, 2004


No prizes for guessing which broadcaster was at the heart of the Marcel Desailly and Ron Atkinson race controversy back in 2004 which cost the latter his job and reputation.


Atkinson, working as an ITV commentator for Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final first leg defeat against Monaco, suffered the consequences of some more sloppy work from ITV as they neglected to switch off the microphones in the stadium as viewers were watching post-match analysis of the game.


“He's what is known in some schools as a f*****g lazy thick n****r," Atkinson was heard saying in the broadcast in several places in the Middle East.


The former West Brom and Coventry boss resigned the next day - and rightly so - amidst a flurry of controversy. His career has never recovered.


Andy Gray and Richard Keys, Wolves v Liverpool, 2011


Sky Sports imploded in January last year as the satellite broadcaster’s lead football presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray were sacked following sexist comments they made towards referee’s assistant Sian Massey before Liverpool’s game against Wolves.


The pair had finished their broadcast duties ahead of the game and had handed over the channel’s match analysis duo, but were recorded questioning Massey’s ability to run the line because of her gender, jesting that ‘women don’t know the offside rule.”


More videos later emerged of the pair’s questionable attitudes to women in football while preparing to broadcast for Sky, prompting their sacking a week later. (Watch Here) 


Chris Kamara, Portsmouth v Blackburn, 2010


A bit of comic relief after two frankly sombre entries in an otherwise light-hearted list, you can always bank on Chris Kamara’s shambling broadcasting style to pop up a few gems in front of the TV watching public.


Reporting on Portsmouth’s home tie against Blackburn in 2010 Kamara is prompted by Soccer Saturday presenter Geoff Stelling to offer viewers details of a sending off, only for the former Brentford player to respond with a blank expression before admitting he had missed the incident altogether. Hilarity ensues. (Watch Here) 

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