Team GB have revealed their dismay that commentary of their match against Canada in the Olympic Games repeatedly included incorrect names such as “Ellie White”.
Great Britain’s 1-1 draw on Tuesday, which saw them top the group and set-up a quarter-final meeting with Australia tomorrow, was shown live by Eurosport.
It is understood the commentator was working for the Olympic Broadcasting Service, who provided the feed. He referred to GB’s top scorer, Manchester City striker Ellen White, as “Ellie” throughout, as well as mistakenly calling the competition’s leading scorer, Holland and Arsenal superstar Vivianne Miedema, “Abbie Miedema”.
Further strange references were made such as Phil Neville being called the England head coach, despite him stepping down from the role in January.
“It is disappointing and I think that’s a common theme within the women’s game,” said GB midfielder Kim Little. “As the game’s become a professional sport, the things around it need to keep improving, too, as well as broadcasting and the media, the kind of level of expertise, when commentating on games.
“I think, because the women’s game is not as widely watched yet as the men’s game, there’s not as many commentators who know the game as well, and are obviously employed to do so. So yes, it’s disappointing, but hopefully, voicing it, and the people that are making the mistakes are made aware of it so that that side of the game can continue to improve.”
Asked if the squad were now jokingly calling White, who scored GB’s first three goals in Japan, by the name of “Ellie”, versatile winger Rachel Daly replied: “I think there’s a Linda Bronze in there as well. And, maybe a Catherine Weir? It’s frustrating.
“It’s not difficult to get players’ names right. It’s quite frustrating and disappointing, but it’s just another bit of fuel to add to the fire and we just focus on us, and stay grounded. It is what it is at the end of the day.”
Eurosport and the Olympic Broadcasting Service have been contacted for a response.
Technical issues have plagued much of Eursport’s coverage, with several of the football matches not including any commentary feed at all at times.
The match was not shown live on BBC television, as they showed finals in Gymnastics and Dressage on their maximum of two permitted live feeds at the time, but there was live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.
On Friday, the women’s football competition steps up a gear as all four quarter-finals take place, including a repeat of the 2019 World Cup final as in-form Netherlands meet pre-tournament favourites the United States.
Britain will be the slight favourites for their clash against Australia, who are ranked ninth in the world and are spear-headed by Chelsea striker Sam Kerr.
GB head coach Hege Riise has urged her side to be courageous now the knockout stages have arrived, adding: “Now it’s that knockout stage, [it’s about] how brave we are going into that, and I think we are brave enough going forward as well.
“[Ever since] I got this role, working with the staff around me to get the most out of the girls, we have been working on the culture, ‘who are we?’, how do we want to be seen, how do we want to perform? I think all the players, the 22 strong players, buy into that.
“They know what it will take for us to go all the way so they all bought into that and I feel like we have done a great job.”