Women’s football player Bethany England was among a number of observers who slammed Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness following comments he made during the broadcaster’s coverage of Chelsea vs Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.
Souness was in the studio alongside ex-Lionesses star Karen Carney, with David Jones hosting. A frenetic and bad-tempered match at Stamford Bridge ended 2-2, with a number of flashpoints occurring, such as the two managers Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte twice clashing on the touchline.
Speaking following the encounter, Souness said: “Referees are letting a lot more go and it makes for a better watch. We’ve all played the game, with simulation and people throwing themselves into the ground. I haven’t seen that in the two games today. It’s a man’s game all of a sudden now.”
He also claimed “boys will be boys” when asked about the managers’ bust-up, and his repeated reference to males did not go down well with those who are still celebrating England women’s superb Euro 2022 victory this summer.
England, who plays for Chelsea and has won 19 caps for the Lionesses, took to Twitter to express her disappointment with Souness’ words. She wrote: ““It’s a man’s game” “Men at it” Get in the bin, what a disgraceful thing to say after the summer this country has just seen.”
Others also hit out at Souness on social media. Pundit Eniola Aluko wrote: “Awkward turtles, Graeme Souness talking about “it’s a man’s game again” sat next to an England centurion Karen Carney, two weeks after @Lionesses end a 56 year wait and win European Championships. Come on. It’s not okay.”
One user added on Twitter: “Souness stating “It’s a mans game again” a couple weeks after the women won the Euros. Sky Sports, you need some new pundits.”
And another said: “Graeme Souness, Jesus wept. ‘It’s a man’s game’ ‘boys will be boys’ ‘our football is back – men at it’. It’s quite uncomfortable watching him sat next to Karen Carney, saying all this. He didn’t even seem bothered when Dave Jones had to correct him.”
This is not the first time Souness has courted controversy of late. Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings took issue with an article Souness had penned questioning his attitude following a Zoom interview the two had had.
Mings tweeted: “What a weird article. That zoom call I was invited on was 2 years ago & he said nothing to me at the time, now wants to drag me into his pointless column. By the way, I’ve achieved plenty from where I started. Happy to chat things through if you ever need me.”