CHARLES SALE: ITV won’t bow to Al Jazeera edict

05 September 2009 12:01
ITV Sport have been involved in a major political confrontation with TV giants Al Jazeera that could have cost the English network their multi-million pound Champions League production contract in the Middle East. 

Al Jazeera presenter: Gary Lineker

The Arab station, who have BBC's Gary Lineker presenting their widespread coverage of the competition on a new sports channel and ITV Sport doing the programme production, laid down editorial guidelines about the prominence given to Israeli team Maccabi Haifa during the qualifying stages.

    More from Charles Sale. Charles Sale: Six-figure rush to sign up Richards03/09/09 Charles Sale: Beeb in choppy water with Ben02/09/09 EXCLUSIVE: E.ON opt against extending FA Cup sponsorship deal01/09/09 Charles Sale: Bevan's so happy he blew the whistle01/09/09 CHARLES SALE'S SPORTS AGENDA: Desperate Ashley will wait for Moat over Newcastle sale30/08/09 Charles Sale: Kemsley planning rebirth of New York Cosmos28/08/09 Charles Sale: Backstage it's the Muhammad Ali scuffle27/08/09 Charles Sale: 'Envious' agents slam Lescott deal27/08/09 VIEW FULL ARCHIVEThis led to ITV's high command confronting their Arab bosses with allegations that the time allocated to Maccabi Haifa had been decided on racial grounds, which were not acceptable.

In turn, Al Jazeera were furious employees should even question their motives on such a powder-keg issue and told ITV it was none of their business to interfere.

The controversy nearly escalated into the termination of the ITV production deal, but has now been resolved.

All of Maccabi Haifa games in their Champions League group with Bayern Munich, Juventus and Bordeaux were always going to be featured live by Al Jazeera throughout the Middle East.

An ITV spokesman said: 'We will never discriminate between teams based on which country they are from.'


Arch enemies Ian Botham and Peter Roebuck, who seriously fell out during the dressing room battles that split Somerset, avoided any eye-to-eye contact throughout the Ashes series despite media work bringing them into close proximity at most venues.

However, Roebuck is likely to re-ignite their many differences with the long interview he has given cricket journalist Simon Wilde for his unofficial biography of Botham that Simon & Schuster will be publishing next year.

The author calls Roebuck's views on Beefy an 'honest appraisal'.


BBC cricket correspondent Jon Agnew missed commentating on yesterday's England v Australia ODl at the Brit Oval because his diesel-run Mercedes sports car broke down after he filled it with petrol.


Cricket fanatic Frazer Thompson, the CEO of Chapel Down English wines, was so embarrassed by the booing of Australia captain Ricky Ponting in the Tests that he has set aside a section of his Kent vineyard to grow a Ponting vintage that will be ready for the Ashes series in 2013.


All change at the BOAThe British Olympic Association have had yet more internal upheavals, with director of communications Adam Parsons, who arrived from the BBC as recently as the start of the year, changing jobs to become director of sports liaisons. His brief is to increase the media profile of Olympic sports.

Parsons' previous position will not be filled, but Miriam Wilkens will become head of communications, reporting to chief commercial officer Hugh Chambers, whose increasing power base is approaching the level of Andy Hunt, the chief executive.


Former Liverpool owner David Moores may have had his Anfield hospitality perks downgraded, but at least wife Marjorie has retained the ornate chandelier that was the centrepiece of the old regime's directors' room fitted out in grand style by an interior designer friend of the Moores family.

The room has been totally refurbished this season, with Mrs Moores keeping the chandelier in return for a cheque to the Marina Dalglish charity.


England's 2018 World Cup campaign is gathering momentum. Chief executive Andy Anson, after travelling the world, has now met all 24 of the FIFA ExCo members who will decide the venue at their vote in Zurich in December 2010.

FIFA starting a new sponsorship cycle shortly afterwards is a major plus for the bid as it will greatly aid FIFA's sponsorship negotiations if a global commercial hub like England stages the World Cup.

 Explore more:People:Ricky Ponting, Ian Botham, Gary Lineker, David MooresPlaces:Liverpool, United Kingdom, Australia, Middle EastOrganisations:British Olympic Association

Source: Daily_Mail

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44