BBC pundits warned after Neville’s ‘I’d smash them’ comments

The BBC is to tell Match Of The Day presenters and pundits to be “careful” about what they say after Phil Neville prompted complaints with controversial remarks about tackling.

The ex-Manchester United and Everton star upset some viewers when he suggested, during Sunday’s Match Of The Day 2, that he would have taken a player out of the game if he had seen them perform a pass without looking during training session.

His comments came after Arsenal player Tomas Rosicky pulled off the feat during a clash with Brighton at the weekend. Viewers heard Neville say: “If that was a training session and somebody did that I’d be first over there and I’d probably look to two-foot him or take him out of the game.

“If somebody did that in training to me, winding me up, I would be straight in there. I’d smash them.”

After receiving angry responses on Twitter, he went on to say his comments were not to be taken seriously.

BBC Sport said: “This comment was not meant to offend in any way, but on reflection, Phil acknowledges that the language he used was unfortunate. That said, Mark Chapman did immediately challenge him and the tone of the discussion was light-hearted enough to suggest that the panel were not condoning any kind of violence or setting an example to a younger audience. BBC Sport will, however, remind the team to take extra care during discussions during our live programmes.”


We’ll probably be seeing a particular royal in some of these dresses.Video: Temperley’s new collection is your dream holiday wardrobe

It's been a while since we last heard from Damien Rice - four years since his last shows in Ireland, five since his last studio album.Damien Rice is joined by special guests for a truly special show

Your guide to what's on this week.Gardening notes: Your guide to what's on

Timeless, the Irish Antique Dealers Fair, continues this weekend at the RDS in Dublin and is open from 11am to 6pm today and tomorrow.In Brief: Your guide to what's on in antiques

More From The Irish Examiner