Pundit Ian Wright has hit back at suggestions from Lord Sugar that he was parachuted into television coverage of Euro 2022.
The business tycoon and former Tottenham chairman took to Twitter at the weekend to question the lack of male presence in coverage of the women’s tournament, and later welcomed Wright’s inclusion, along with Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall, on the BBC’s panel for England’s 8-0 demolition of Norway on Monday evening.
However, former England and Gunners striker Wright addressed Lord Sugar in a video posted on his own Twitter account on Tuesday.
He said: “In your mind, you actually thought after you sent that tweet that the BBC phoned me up – never mind the fact that we’ve been ready to do this for a year, I’ve been booked for a year – you genuinely think that they called me up and said, ‘Ian, you’ve got to get back from Germany ASAP. Alan Sugar’s tweeted and we can’t upset him. We need to get you on’?
I was pleased to see my old mate Ian Wright was given the opportunity to commentate on the ladies game last night. I wonder if my earlier tweet below touched a nerve. Of course BBC sport will say not at all, Ian was already lined up for it @IanWright0 https://t.co/WgYGjWXWK4
— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) July 12, 2022
“You genuinely believe that that happened? Because I need to know, because that says to me that your ego is totally out of control.
“Where’s the people around you to hug you, bro?”
In his initial post on Saturday, Lord Sugar said: “I am watching the women’s football and notice that ALL the commentators are women. I also note when men’s football is on there is a symbolic female commentator to cover the broadcaster’s arse.
“Should I complain there should be a male commentator in women’s football?”
On Tuesday morning, and quoting his initial message, the Apprentice star added: “I was pleased to see my old mate Ian Wright was given the opportunity to commentate on the ladies game last night. I wonder if my earlier tweet below touched a nerve.
“Of course BBC Sport will say not at all, Ian was already lined up for it.”
Responding to Lord Sugar’s later post with tongue firmly in cheek, Wright urged him to repeat his call for male representation so he could cover England’s final Group A clash with Northern Ireland on Friday evening.
He said: “I’ve got to say thank you, thank you, man, for that tweet because if it wasn’t for you, I’d have missed one of the greatest England games that’s ever been played.
“The thing is, all seriousness, I’m glad you’re watching and the only thing that you can find fault with doesn’t even exist.
“I sit in rooms with ex-players belittling the women’s game all the time. I am so glad it annoys you and all of them.
“Can I just say I hope you enjoy the rest of the tournament. Can you please tweet again so I can work Friday, please? God bless.”