FA seek ITV explanation

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Football News

The Football Association have demanded an explanation from ITV over the blunder that prevented some fans from watching the winning goal in Wednesday night's Merseyside derby.

After 118 minutes of goalless football in the FA Cup fourth-round replay at Goodison Park between Everton and Liverpool, the live match coverage was interrupted by adverts moments before Dan Gosling's extra-time decider.

ITV apologised on Thursday morning but the FA have asked for the reasons behind the mishap to be explained by the broadcaster as an FA spokesman said on "It is obviously very disappointing that viewers and fans did not see the only goal of Wednesday night's FA Cup replay between Everton and Liverpool. Clearly we are seeking a full explanation from ITV as to why this happened."

The spokesman continued: "It is important that lessons are learned and that this does not happen again."

Some just managed to catch the goal after a number of ITV regions and digital channels returned to the game seconds before the teenager's strike, but for others the adverts continued and the first fans knew of the goal was the Everton team's celebrations.

It is understood an automated system for broadcasting adverts, which should only be used on "regular schedule" nights, kicked in as the game continued in extra time.

The system is not designed for live events such as football games, which can over-run and delay the schedule.

Match presenter Steve Rider said: "If you missed the goal we apologise. It was because of technical problems we had at that time."

ITV said the problem occurred at the transmission centre and was not the responsibility of the ITV Sport production team.

The broadcaster's executive chairman, Michael Grade, said: "Most importantly I'd like to apologise to all our viewers who were affected by Wednesday night's unprecedented technical error. As a football fan myself I was glued to the match and was as disappointed as anyone to miss the goal."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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