BBC apologizes for football rape accusation blunder


An image of the wrong football star was shown by the broadcaster

BBC News was forced to issue an apology on-air after wrongly showing a picture of Chelsea and England star Raheem Sterling when running a segment about a still unnamed Premier League player who has been arrested for alleged sexual offenses.

The image of Sterling was used on a different story about his recent transfer from Manchester City to Chelsea but was again shown behind presenter Mike Bushell as he gave an update on the arrest on Thursday morning.

Later on, one of Bushell’s colleagues said that a “technical error” was to blame for the mix-up and stressed that Sterling is “wholly unconnected” with the allegations.

“In our sports bulletin earlier, owing to a technical error the wrong picture appeared in connection with a story of a Premier League player arrested over alleged sexual offenses,” it was said.

“A picture of a different and wholly unconnected player was shown. We apologize for that mistake.”

BBC News added that they would repeat the apology in the channel’s next sports bulletin, with its original report made in reference to the unnamed player who was apprehended in north London on July 4 as a result of rape allegations made by a woman in her 20s last month.

The man was then arrested again while in custody amid further allegations of raping a different woman last year in April and June.

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The unnamed player will still be able to feature in matches. © Plumb Images / Leicester City FC via Getty Images
Premier League club not suspending rape suspect – media

The 29-year-old player has been bailed until August and denies the allegations.

Furthermore, his also unnamed club confirmed on Wednesday that it will not suspend him.

“We are aware of the allegations which are currently the subject of a police investigation,” explained the club to The Athletic.

“We have confirmed that the player denies the allegations and is on police bail pending the outcome of their inquiries.

“There have been no charges laid and the player can fulfill his professional commitments including permitted travel.”

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