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Gary Neville isn’t facing punishment over his comments. (Picture: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock)
Ofcom won’t be punishing Gary Neville for comparing the treatment of nurses in the UK to that of migrant workers in Qatar.
The football pundit made the comments on ITV during the World Cup as he reflected on Qatar facing heavy criticism over working conditions which saw a number of people die on construction projects for the tournament.
‘We should detest low pay, we should detest poor accommodation and working conditions,’ he said. ‘We can never accept that in this region or any other region – and it is just worth mentioning we’ve got a government in our country that are demonising rail workers, ambulance workers and terrifyingly nurses.
‘We can’t have people being paid an absolute pittance to work, we can’t have people in accommodation that is unsavoury and disgusting.
‘It shouldn’t happen here [in Qatar] … with the wealth that exists. But it shouldn’t happen with the nurses in our country either where our nurses are having to fight for an extra pound or two pounds.’
Hundreds of people complained to Ofcom about the comments, with the watchdog noting that 705 got in touch to register their displeasure.
In their report, Ofcom added: ‘We considered these complaints against our broadcasting rules. In our view, the live, brief and unscripted remarks about industrial relations in the UK came amidst a wider discussion about the policies and actions of the Qatari Government, which gave due weight to a range of views.
‘So, we will not be pursuing these complaints further.’
The organisation also reminded the broadcaster of the need to remain balanced and impartial.
They added: ‘However, we have issued guidance to ITV reminding them of their due impartiality obligations. ITV has assured us that presenters and studio guests will be reminded of these rules.’
The initial comments sparked backlash online, and ITV noted at the time that Neville was sharing his ‘own personal views’, not those of the broadcaster.
An channel spokesman said: ‘Gary Neville was expressing his own personal views in the context of a discussion about the treatment of workers in Qatar within a live broadcast.
‘His views are his own and were not endorsed by ITV.’
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MORE : Gary Neville sends clear message to Manchester United board over Harry Kane transfer
MORE : Jurgen Klopp ‘equal to or better than Pep Guardiola’ reckons Gary Neville
World Cup 2022: your FAQs answered
He compared the treatment of nurses in the UK to migrant workers.
Argentina’s World Cup victory watched by 14.9m
Argentina’s glorious victory over France in Sunday’s World Cup final was watched by a peak of 14.9m people on BBC One.
With a TV audience share of 58%, the penalty shootout win was streamed 7.1m times on iPlayer and BBC Sport Online.
ITV, who also broadcast the final, saw a peak of 4.4m with a TV audience share of 17.8%.
BBC TV coverage had a total reach of 38.8m throughout the tournament.
Plus, a record-breaking 104.7m tournament streams was reached on iPlayer and Sport Online.
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “One of the greatest World Cup Finals of all time, Argentina and Messi’s victory last night closed off a thrilling four weeks of football.
“A first ever winter World Cup was a new experience for fans and the BBC has once again demonstrated the value of sport when made freely available to all, breaking new streaming records and providing the highest quality coverage, analysis and entertainment across TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Online and BBC Sounds.”
England game breaks records
England’s win over Wales was the most-watched game on BBC TV with a peak of 17.6m. England’s Iran game was the most requested live game across BBC Sport Online and BBC iPlayer with 7.9m requests.
England’s defeat to France included a five-minute peak of 21.31m – broadcast by ITV – it is the most-watched single channel TV moment of 2022 so far.
Backpages – French papers react to Argentina World Cup win
French regional newspaper La Voix du Nord says “thank you anyway”
French newspaper Le Parisien declares itself “proud of our Bleus”
“Heads held high”, says L’Equipe
Argentine newspaper Clarin carries a two-word headline, which translates into English as: “Thank you Messi”
Regional newspaper El Tribuno celebrates “World Cup happiness”
El Dia – a newspaper published in the Argentine city of La Plata – speaks of “an explosion of euphoria in every home, bar, club and restaurant”, with a picture of one of the city’s squares packed with people
Qatar World Cup 2022 – Argentina win the World Cup, beating France on penalties
Footballing legend Lionel Messi achieved his World Cup dreams last night after Argentina beat France to lift the trophy.
Argentina won the shootout 4-2 after a spectacular game which saw Argentina dominate for most of the match, being 2-0 up until the 80th minute. Then France’s Kylian Mbappe showed off his magic, scoring from the spot, and just one minute later, he scored again – levelling the game and leaving Argentina in shock.
Messi got Argentina back in front at 108 minutes before Mbappe scored again at 118 minutes – to equalise for France and get his hat-trick.
After 102 minutes of incredible football, it went to penalties.
Both Messi and Mbappe opened the scoring on penalties. But Argentina’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved from Kingsley Coman and then before Aurelian Tchouameni missed, leaving Argentina’s Gonzalo Montiel to win the World Cup.
Lionel Messi – the greatest of all time
Lionel Messi has cemented his place as the greatest footballer of all time.
The game was one of the best ever seen. Everything you’d ever want from a World Cup final, and to see the greatest player go on to crown his already glittering career will forever be iconic.
Messi dominated for 80 minutes as France struggled to string together a few passes. But Mbappe is the future of football, and he showed the world what can happen in just a few minutes.
Argentina prevailed on penalties but the game was always about Lionel Messi. For football fans everywhere, this was how they wanted to see Messi’s international career close.
Messi announced the final would be his last game for the national team.
A fitting end for a player nearing the end of his footballing career.
Kylian Mbappe (France) – 8
Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 7
Julian Alvarez (Argentina), Olivier Giroud (France) – 4
Common Questions About the Qatar 2022 World cup
Where is the FIFA World Cup 2022 schedule?
Following a dazzling Final Draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the final tournament match schedule has been published on FIFA+.
Given the compact nature of Qatar, event organisers were able to assign, for the first time ever, group stage games to a stadium and kick-off time for each matchday after the final draw, optimising the match schedule for the benefit and comfort of spectators, teams, media and the global audience.
A total of 64 games will be played to decide the winners of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. See when and where the action will take place.