This post is a coupe of weeks late…. But better late than never.

If anyone saw the BBC Match of the Day’s filleted coverage of Tottenham’s game against the misers of Middlesbrough you will have no idea about the controversy in which Dele Alli was the innocent party.

With appalling editorial judgement, BBC chose to ignore the first-half incident that should have left Middlesbrough with 10 men and goalkeeper Victor Valdes kicking his heels in the dressing-room.

BT Sport covered the match live, and had shown the Valdes assault on Alli more than 20 times. The Spanish goalkeeper lashed out in anger and twice struck the young Tottenham player in the face, the second time violently clawing at him. To Alli’s credit – or perhaps even his naivety – he made no fuss, when many a wise old pro would have fallen over and claimed a penalty.

Alli just stood with a pained expression on his face and waited for referee Mark Clattenburg to take action. BT Sport had former World Cup final referee Howard Webb in the studio, and his instant judgement was that it was a red card offence.

How will BBC cover the story when, as is likely, Valdes is given a retrospective three-match ban?

There have been several incidents involving Alli when the BBC has held inquests, but on this occasion they chose to ignore it. They should be shown the red card for such incompetence.

The Valdes attack was nearly as shocking as Mousa Dembele’s attempted eye gouging against Diego Costa at Chelsea that brought him a six-match suspension.

But as far as Match of the Day is concerned – and this is the football show that draws the biggest audience – it just never happened. This time the BBC inquest should be into their coverage. The “Beeb boobed”.


The FA had eventually decided not to take any action against Valdes because the referee mentioned in his report that he had “taken appropriate action” at the time. Clearly Mr Clattenburg had not witnessed the incident in full, or he would have had no option but to send off the Spaniard. Howard Webb, no less, agrees that the FA disciplinary committee should have over-ruled the referee on this occasion. This does not get the BBC off the hook. They should have had an opinion on the incident, instead of just ignoring it.


Article Submitted by Spurs4everever

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About Terry Charalambous

Current chairman of Cyprus Spurs Supporters' Club