ITV’s studio and commentary team includes Eniola Alukom, third from right, one of England’s longest serving women players

Canterbury man’s tweets about female football pundits spark fury

A Canterbury man has provoked anger with comments that women should not be commentating on World Cup football matches.

David Benge told his Twitter followers that he didn’t think women could be experts on the men’s game.

Both the BBC and ITV have given prominence to female pundits, presenters and commentators for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

It prompted Mr Benge to voice his displeasure. He said: “The world has gone mad, women talking about World Cup football! Is it just me or is it really really annoying?

The BBC team includes Alex Scott, far right

“Talk about women’s footy, fine. But please please don’t pretend you are an expert on men’s football.”

When asked why gender should matter, Mr Benge replied: “I might be wrong, but if a group of men are in the pub watching football, for one it’s unlikely their wives or girlfriends are invited, and extremely doubtful their opinion will mean very much.

“It’s just the way it is.”

ITV has selected Eniola Alukom, one of England’s longest serving women players, as a pundit. Jacqui Oatley is also part of the broadcaster’s presenting team.

The BBC team includes presenter Gabby Logan and Alex Scott, who played 140 matches for England. Vicki Sparks is the first woman to commentate on a World Cup game for UK television.

Both Scott and Alukom have earned praise from television critics for their punditry during as the tournament nears its first complete week.

Mr Benge’s comments provoked anger on social media. One man accused him of being stuck in the 1970s.

Kate Evans added: “Masculinity so fragile he can’t even let women have the same interests as him.”

And Mark Douglas asked: “Do you only go to see male doctors because women don’t understand the male anatomy?”

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