‘Sick of it!’ Scotland fans furious at BBC’s football coverage – Nicola Sturgeon weighs in

Euros 2020: Scotland fans gather at Hyde Park

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Ahead of the crunch game on Friday, the BBC dedicated a large amount of air to the famous goal by Paul Gascoigne in the 1996 Euros clash with Scotland when the Auld Enemy beat the Tartan Army 2-0. The football legend’s goal was one of the most famous goals in English football history which created a large amount of anger among Scots following their 1996 defeat.

But Kenny MacAskill said Scots were “sick of the constant mentions” of the moment and wider England footballing success during coverage of Friday’s game by leading English pundits, claiming it was being seen as a way to mock Scottish football.

The East Lothian MP, who defected from the SNP to Alba party, added: “Scots are scunnered with Euro commentators’ endless mentioning of the glories of ’96 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.

“We wouldn’t have to have all Scottish pundits but it would mean that Scots don’t have to listen to commentators making constant reference to things like Gazza’s goal.”

As part of the strategy, Mr MacAskill called for the creation of a BBC Scotland board with the aim of encouraging the broadcaster to provide individual tailored Scottish events for major events including football matches.

Mr MacAskill added: “BBC Scotland should opt-out and cover all games separately.

“They could have a Scottish commentary with a panel in Glasgow. It can be international, with non Scots.”

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Mr MacAskill also claimed to the Scottish Sun that if broadcasting was devolved to the Scottish Parliament, it would boost “jobs and culture” north of the border.

The MPs comments came as the Scottish Government said they believe “control of the budget and editorial policy of the BBC for Scotland should sit in Scotland”.

A spokesman added: “While the Scottish Government strongly supports the public service broadcasting system, it has long argued the BBC’s output for Scotland should be decided in Scotland so audiences get the service best suited to them.”

But in a response to a House of Commons question from Mr MacAskill, Culture Minister John Whittingdale said no requests had been made from Edinburgh for the devolution of broadcasting powers.

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He stressed: “The UK government is committed to showcasing the importance of the UK’s broadcasters as part of a stronger, global Britain.

“Broadcasting is a reserved matter and there are a number of well-established structures in place such as the Advisory Committee for Scotland, which ensures that Ofcom, the UK’s independent communications regulator which regulates UK broadcasting, takes into account the interests and views of people living in Scotland.”

The BBC has been approached for comment. 

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