Kevin Keegan is called a ‘1970s icon for a reason’ as he faces furious backlash for saying he has ‘a problem’ with female pundits talking about the men’s game
- Keegan does not like listening to female pundits commentating men’s game
- He believes ‘lady footballers pundits’ don’t have same experience as the men
- Keegan insisted he remains behind the development of women’s football
Kevin Keegan was branded a relic of the 1970s today after he admitted: ‘I don’t like to listen to ladies talking about the England men’s team’.
The former footballer and manager, 72, said he has a ‘problem’ with female pundits discussing men’s football at a live event in the West Country.
The ex-England and Newcastle United manager, who also enjoyed a glittering career as a player, has sparked criticism – although he admitted himself ‘it may not be a view shared’ by others and said some women pundits were better than the men.
Speaking to an audience of approximately 250 people in Bristol who attended An Evening With Kevin Keegan OBE, he said he did not like listening to ‘an England lady footballer’ providing analysis of Gareth Southgate‘s team.
‘I’m not as keen, I’ve got to be honest, and it may not be a view shared,’ he said. ‘I don’t like to listen to ladies talking about the England men’s team at the match because I don’t think it’s the same experience. I have a problem with that.’
‘If I see an England lady footballer saying about England against Scotland at Wembley and she’s saying, “If I would have been in that position I would have done this”, I don’t think it’s quite the same,’ he said.
Fans and pressure groups have slammed him, even though he did not criticise any individuals such as Alex Scott, Eni Aluko and Karen Carney, who regularly present, commentate and analyse the men’s game.
Women in Football, who campaign for change in attitudes to women working in football, said: ‘There is more than one reason why Kevin Keegan is seen as an icon of the 1970s’.
Kevin Keegan has extraordinarily claimed he has ‘a problem’ with female pundits talking about England’s men team
Keegan said he did not think women’s pundits were in a position to commentate on their male colleagues, particularly at international level. Alex Scott is arguably the most famous
However, Keegan insisted some women pundits were better than their male counterparts
Women in Football were among the critics
The 72-year-old insisted his view was not intent to belittle women’s football and women’s pundits – but some have argued otherwise.
‘The presenters we have now, some of the girls are so good, they are better than the guys. It’s a great time for the ladies,’ he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
‘It is a great time for the ladies’ game. When I was England manager [from February 1999 to October 2000], I went to coach the England ladies and I had this perception of what the quality would be like and they were so much better than I thought they were going to be.
‘I joined in and then I thought, “I’m getting out of this”. I couldn’t get the bloody ball and one of them nutmegged me, that finished me off.’
He also singled out BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan for praise.
‘There are some very, very good lady presenters and I’m working with one in two days’ time, Terry Yorath’s daughter, Gabby [Logan],’ he said.
However, he claimed women pundits were not in a position to commentate on men’s football.
‘I don’t think it crosses over that much.’
The former Manchester City and Newcastle manager also accused modern pundits of ‘talking too much’ and suggested analysts of his generation were no longer wanted by broadcasters.
‘I worked with Brian Moore, who was the best. At a World Cup final he would say, “Kevin, don’t talk too much, let the pictures do the talking”,’ he said..
‘A lot of the pundits now talk too much. Don’t keep talking, talking, talking. They don’t want people like us any more, our day is gone, it’s time for the next generation.’
Keegan singled out BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan for praise in his speech
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