Pundits ordered to toe the line

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Published: Wednesday 28th January 2015 by The News Editor

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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 programme, that he would have taken a player out of the game if he had seen them perform a pass without looking during a 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.

Responding to viewer complaints, 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.”

Published: Wednesday 28th January 2015 by The News Editor

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