Tokyo 2020: Great Britain footballers hit out after commentary gets players’ names wrong

A series of slip-ups in getting players’ first names wrong left the squad rightly unimpressed

Karl Matchett
Thursday 29 July 2021 14:37
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Olympic broadcasters have come under fire after repeatedly getting players’ names wrong in women’s football.

Great Britain reached the quarter-finals of the event at Tokyo 2020, topping their group with a late draw against Canada, but during the 90 minutes the commentators - provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services - referred to Lucy Bronze as “Linda”, Ellen White as “Ellie” and Caroline Weir as “Catherine”.

The trio have enormous standing within the Team GB set-up and the wider game as a whole: Bronze is a three-time WSL and Champions League winner and the 2020 Fifa Best Women’s Player of the Year winner; White the fifth-highest goalscorer of all-time for England’s women’s team and scorer of three of Team GB’s four goals at the Olympics; and Weir is a key midfielder for Manchester City and Scotland, with almost 80 caps to her name.

Outside of Great Britain’s fixture, Netherlands and Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema - the all-time leading goalscorer of the WSL - was called “Abby”.

Speaking before the quarter-final ties, where Great Britain will face Australia on Friday, midfielder Kim Little labelled the errors “disappointing” and called for professionalism to be improved not just from within the game itself, but in every area around it - including those who are set to work on matches and teams which they may not be as familiar with.

“I think it is disappointing. And I think that’s a common theme within the women’s game,” she said. “As its professionalised, as the game’s become a professional sport, the things around it need to keep improving, too, as well as broadcasting, the media.

“The kind of level of expertise, when commentating on games, and I think because the women’s game is not as widely watched yet as the men’s game, there’s not I suppose as many commentators who know the game as well, and are obviously employed to do so.

“So yeah, 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.”

The commentary mistakes follow on from kit maker adidas getting the name wrong of Manchester United defender Millie Turner in promotional material for the new season’s strip, where they captioned her “Amy”.

After Turner pointed out the error on social media, adidas were forced to apologise for ‘messing up’ with their campaign and offered to send out shirts to her fans by way of apology.

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