BBC viewers fume over coverage of England Women's World Cup clash with Nigeria

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BBC viewers fume over coverage of England Women
BBC viewers fume over coverage of England Women's World Cup clash with Nigeria

BBC's coverage of England's crucial Round of 16 clash with Nigeria at the Women's World Cup has come under heavy fire as the match commentary seems to be out of sync with the on-screen visuals.

Nigeria's Ashleigh Plumptre crashed a wicked shot off the underside of the crossbar just after the quarter-hour mark in England's encounter as the Super Falcons piled early pressure on the European champions.

But if you were watching the BBC coverage live on terrestrial TV, you heard about Plumptre's dangerous strike from commentators Robyn Cowen and Rachel Brown-Finnis before you saw it.

The bizarre and discombobulating moment was not in isolation, and the broadcast experience was only exacerbated as Nigeria's early salvos continued to be reported audibly seconds before their on-screen occurrence.

And viewers of England's knockout round match have been less than impressed with the perceived lag, with one viewer slamming the broadcast as a "mess of an experience to watch" and another branding it as "annoying".

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Other unamused viewers have called out the heavy price paid for their TV licence and the subpar live coverage from the BBC.

Some fans, however, have found the humorous side of the strange delay, commending Cowen and Brown-Finnis for their apparent verbal prescience.

Nevertheless, plenty of others have not found similar mirth at having such a critical game spoiled for them in real time.

The BBC share the rights to this summer's Women's World Cup with ITV, with the broadcasters sharing coverage of England's matches throughout the tournament.

The Lionesses welcomed back midfielder Keira Walsh into Monday's starting line-up in what arrived as a delightful surprise for England fans after the Barcelona star had seemed to sustain a serious knee injury during England's second group stage match against Denmark that threatened to put a premature end to her World Cup journey.

However, Walsh's auspicious inclusion did not keep England from feeling under the cosh in the opening exchanges of Monday's nervy knockout match. Nigeria's blistering counter attacks caused plenty of problems as England struggled to tune a rhythm and it was Nigeria who relished the best chances early on.

A first-half penalty claim for England promised to turn the tide as Rachel Daly was adjudged to have been brought down in the box.

But the penalty ruling was swiftly overturned after intervention from VAR and England continued to look for an opening goal to avoid joining the USA and Germany in untimely exits.

Megan Feringa

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