I have been watching most of the World Cup games from the state broadcaster CyBC as the better picture quality far outweighs the not so knowledgeable and insightful commentating team.
However on Sunday I got the chance to watch the game ‘away from home’ and the establishment I visited was showing the England v Panama fixture from another state broadcaster, the BBC.
In Cyprus we tend to accuse local commentators of being biased when they cover Cyprus teams, especially against European opponents. I was shocked to find out that the BBC commentators were no better when it comes to biased commentating.
I surfed the net on Monday morning to see if anyone had complained about the Beeb’s bias and found a number of articles about fans tweeting and complaining about the state broadcaster.
However to my amazement the complaints had nothing to do with bias as I understand it during a game.
Viewing fans were complaining why the commentating pair of Guy Mowbray and Danny Murphy constantly referred to England as ‘we’.
One viewer tweeted: “Dear BBC Sport. Can you ask Danny Murphy to stop referring to England as ‘we’ seeing as you’re a UK-based channel and he should be an unbiased commentator,” while another urged the BBC to ‘get rid of ‘we’ Murphy’.
Up until Harry Kane’s first penalty, I was indifferent to the commentating and it never crossed my mind that the pronoun ‘we’ could stir up so much fuss and controversy, after all we were watching a game of football.
What annoyed me (amongst other things) was how the two commentators were waxing lyrical on Kane’s penalty strike. They went on for a full five minutes saying what a wonderful penalty it was, giving the keeper no chance etc etc. Don’t get me wrong it was a fine penalty but the way they went on about it I thought for a minute they were going to vote it ‘goal of the tournament’.
Thankfully Jesse Lingard scored a peach of a goal 14 minutes later and the commentators forgot about his wonder strike until of course Kane’s second penalty conversion and then they started all over again.
I pleaded with my host to switch TV channels at half time but he refused, so to avoid the risk of suffering a possible nervous breakdown I opted for a game of tavli (backgammon) where all my frustration and anger was unjustly directed to my opponent.
For the record I am a passionate Tottenham Hotspur fan and a huge admirer of Kane but Mowbray and Murphy just went over the top.
Having said that though it seems that objectivity has never been a major quality of football fans.
A Tottenham local fan group on social media of which I am a proud member had its members glowing with pride after the game.
One member wrote: ‘I thought that was the best pair of penalties in living memory’ while another said ‘my favourite team is Harry Kane’.
A third member of the group decided that he loves Kane because he has no tattoos and does not stand like a bullfighter showing off his physique (reference to Ronaldo).