Astonishing – Murray v Nadal?
THE BBC was forced to apologise yesterday after it was heavily criticised for not showing the opening seven minutes of Saturday’s match between Wales and the All Blacks.
The broadcaster’s decision to stick with Andy Murray’s tennis match against Rafael Nadal on BBC2 meant many fans did not get to see Stephen Jones’ kick which took Wales into the lead in the first minute.
The decision was condemned by politicians and Wales-based BBC staff are said to be “very unhappy”.
A senior source said: “To say we were peeved would be to put it mildly.”
The Welsh Rugby Union will this week ask the BBC for clarification of how the decision was made.
WRU chief executive Roger Lewis said: “We are very disappointed that the BBC decided not to cover the start of the Wales versus New Zealand international live from the Millennium Stadium on their scheduled network channel. This caused widespread disruption and deprived many rugby fans across Wales and the rest of the UK of the chance of witnessing an epic and important element of the match…
“This weekend the pre-match build-up was also particularly poignant as we observed a minute’s silence in remembrance of the 29 men who died in the Pike River Mine explosion at Greymouth on New Zealand’s South Island. The symbolism of that important moment was meant to be shared with as many people as possible.”
He continued: “I acknowledge there was an editorial decision to be taken by the BBC, but the fundamental fact is that millions of people had planned their viewing for the weekend to include the whole of the Wales versus New Zealand match… We enjoy a strong and important relationship with the BBC and will endeavour to continue to make every effort to ensure that partnership is mutually beneficial, but I cannot ignore our sadness and disappointment on this occasion.”
And also from Mr Lewis:
“My concern is this action was symptomatic of an increasing marginalisation of Wales by decision makers in London”
Read Roger Lewis’s Western Mail piece here Why we must challenge London’s view of Wales…it’s more than about Rugby…
…However the fundamental questions which arise from the weekend are of concern to us all in Wales.
The creeping perception of the irrelevance of Wales in London by the media and for that matter by the politicians must be addressed
The voice of Wales, our voice, must be heard. It must be heard in Wales and in the corridors of the decision- makers and opinion formers in London as well as in Cardiff.
If we want Wales to win, not just in rugby but beyond the field, we all have to take responsibility.
We have to take responsibility for ourselves.
And that means convincing the powers that be, wherever they are, to have confidence in us and our abilities to make the right decisions.
To do that, we must have the confidence in ourselves.
All of us in Wales, in whatever walk of life, must be prepared to take control of our own destiny.