England's Football Association complains over missed goal

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

The English Football Association (FA) has complained after broadcaster ITV cut away to an advertisement just before a winning goal in a match.

Goodison Park, home of Everton FC
Image: BiloBlue.

The match, an FA Cup Merseyside derby between Everton F.C. and Liverpool F.C., was in extra time after 118 minutes without a goal when ITV's automated advertisement server, designed for use only during ordinary programming, began playing out commercials. During this time, Everton's Dan Gosling scored the winning goal. In some regions the system returned to the match just before the goal, but viewers in the south of England saw only the celebrations after the goal.

Michael Grade, executive chairman of ITV, admitted to ITN that the broadcast had been a shambles and said that "yellow or red cards" would go to those responsible once it was established how it happened. ITV has received over 1,000 complaints. ITV has previously had issues with FA Cup coverage. The Histon F.C.Leeds United A.F.C. game managed to include swearing from Leeds fans and scenes of a naked player, whilst heavy rain marred picture quality.

The FA's statement on this issue said "It is obviously very disappointing that viewers and fans did not see the only goal of last night’s FA Cup replay between Everton and Liverpool. Clearly we are seeking a full explanation from ITV as to why this happened. It is important that lessons are learned and that this does not happen again".