ITV select an ALL-FEMALE on-screen panel for a men’s World Cup game for the first time ever, as presenter Seema Jaswal is joined by Karen Carney and Eni Aluko in the historic moment… and TV bosses just so happen to select a Saudi Arabia game to do it!
ITV broadcast the nation’s first men’s World Cup tie featuring an all-female on-screen panel – and they just happened to select a Saudi Arabia game.
The live show was presented by Seema Jaswal with pundits and former England internationals Karen Carney and Eni Aluko for the Group C game between Saudi and Poland at the Education City Stadium in Doha on Saturday.
Nadia Nadim, a former Denmark international, was also due to be involved but stepped down following the sudden death of her mother on Tuesday.
There was no comment from ITV but it is unlikely to have been pure coincidence that they came together for the historic moment to present a high-profile game in a weekend slot featuring Saudi Arabia.
Women’s rights have become a major issue at the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East, with Iran’s players daring to protest against their own state’s strict policies by refusing to sing the national anthem in their opening game against England.
ITV select an all-female on-screen panel for a men’s World Cup game for the first time ever, as presenter Seema Jaswal (left) is joined by Karen Carney (right) and Eni Aluko (centre)
The all-female panel were covering Saudi Arabia’s World Cup group game with Poland
Protests hit the streets of Iran following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the ‘morality police’ for failing to cover her hair.
There was another World Cup flashpoint when Iran’s manager Carlos Queiroz became incensed by a question in a press conference about the protests from BBC Persia reporter Shaimaa Khalil.
Queiroz snapped back about asking politically sensitive questions to the managers from other countries, such as asking Gareth Southgate about Afghanistan.
Saudi Arabia is another country where Islamic law limits the freedom of women and where, according to Amnesty, ‘women continue to face serious discrimination in marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody’.
Former England internationals Carney (right) and Aluko (left) pictured before the Group C tie
An estimated 18million viewers tuned in to watch England’s bore draw against the USA on ITV on Friday.