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Euro 2020: Fans blast BBC for leading with Scotland defeat, not England win

Football fans have hit out at the BBC for its wall-to-wall coverage of Scotland being eliminated from the Euros – with England’s success relegated to a footnote. 

The rivals were both in the same group at the tournament, with England beating Czech Republic 1-0 yesterday to advance as group winners and Scotland finishing bottom after losing 3-1 to Croatia. 

England will now play in the knockout stages on Tuesday against Germany, Portugal, France or Hungary, with the Scottish team left to lick its wounds after a disappointing exit from its first major tournament since 1998. 

However, much of the post-match coverage on the BBC appeared to focus on Scotland falling short rather than England’s success, infuriating English fans. 

Bulletins on BBC Radio 4 today, BBC Breakfast and BBC News online also led on Scotland. 

Dozens of fans took to social media to slam the BBC, with one writing: ‘@BBCNews, @BBCSport,@bbc5live. Why are you leading the news and sport with Scotland going out rather than the success of England? Seems pretty typical of the BBC these days.’

Another said: ‘Just switched off @BBC. Going on and on about Scotland FT losing the match! They lost move on and cheer England for finishing top of their group.’

While a third wrote: ‘I’m sad & disappointed for the brilliant Scottish fans & their Braveheart team, who failed to make the next stage, but why England’s progress, though turgid, should be 2nd on BBC’s News agenda last night escapes me. Not a great performance but England WON! 56m England 5m Scotland!’ 

Other fans questioned why Scotland’s defeat was the main news headline on several BBC shows and bulletins, taking precedence over other stories about the travel industry and the potential return of summer holidays. 

One said: ‘Struggling to grasp why #Scotland ’s exit from the #Euros2021 is leading #BBC news programmes! Is there really nothing more important?’

While a second wrote: ‘Radio4 – 8am headline news; Scotland bombing out of Euro 20. WTAF???? Get you priorities right BBC or have a sports news section. It isn’t headline news to spend 3mins on the subject.’

A third fan described the coverage as ‘way over the top’: ‘Even as a football fan, the coverage of the Scotland game and, to a slightly lesser extent, the England game on BBC’s News at Ten is way over the top. The knockout stages haven’t even started yet.’

Yesterday’s matches come after England and Scotland shared a 0-0 draw at Wembley on Friday.

That match also triggered controversy after Scottish star Billy Gilmour tested positive for coronavirus in the aftermath, forcing England players Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell to isolate for 10 days. 

The trio, who are all club teammates at Chelsea, were spotted embracing and talking after the match. 

However, England boss Gareth Southgate was left scratching his head after no other Scottish players were forced to self-isolate, despite sharing a dressing room with Gilmour.   

Scotland’s manager Steve Clarke and several teammates, who were also pictured in close contact with Gilmour, were apparently not judged to have been in close contact with the midfielder. 

Reacting to the news before yesterday’s games, Southgate said: ;I don’t want to cause a drama for Scotland, but if you’re all in the dressing together room. Where do you stand?’

‘I don’t know all of the factors behind that but it clearly it’s nothing to do with being on the pitch.’

Fans at Box Park in Croydon throw beer in the air as England score an early goal against Czech Republic before going on to top their group

Fans at Box Park in Croydon throw beer in the air as England score an early goal against Czech Republic before going on to top their group

Scotland fans appear dejected during their team's 3-1 defeat to Croatia, which saw them crash out of Euro 2020

Scotland fans appear dejected during their team’s 3-1 defeat to Croatia, which saw them crash out of Euro 2020 

Yesterday, Raheem Sterling’s goal secured victory for England and pushed Gareth Southgate’s side through to the Round of 16 as group winner. They now face a clash with heavyweights France, Germany or Portugal, or possibly Hungary.

Their opponents in that game – which will be played in front of 40,000 fans at Wembley on Tuesday night – will be revealed after the final set of group games today.

But while it was ecstasy for England fans, it was agony for Scotland supporters, who watched their side crash out at the group stages.

The Tartan Army were left head in hands after losing 3-1 in their must-win clash against Croatia.  

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