Thursday, December 7, 2023

Jules Breach, Joe Cole and Joleon Lescott are forced to keep their cool as England fans chant ‘Channel 4 is f****** s***’ live on air after North Macedonia draw

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Channel 4 presenter Jules Breach was forced to keep her cool alongside pundits Joe Cole and Joleon Lescott during live coverage of England‘s draw with North Macedonia on Monday.

Gareth Southgate‘s side ended their European Championship qualifying campaign with a whimper at the Tose Proeski Arena, forced to come from behind to pick up a 1-1 draw in their final match of 2023.

Captain Harry Kane came off the bench in the second half and forced Jani Atanasov into an own goal from a Phil Foden corner after home captain Enis Bardhi scored a rebound having seen his penalty saved by Jordan Pickford.

But it was after the game that Breach and the pundits for the game had to stay level headed as the broadcast came under verbal attack from the England supporters in the ground.

Chants of ‘Channel 4, f****** s***’ could be heard on the live feed as the trio analysed the game, but all three members of the team managed not to react in any way to what was being sung in their direction.

The Channel 4 broadcast team were forced to keep their cool following England’s draw with North Macedonia on Monday night, after fans chanted ‘Channel 4 is f****** s***’ live on air

England were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw during their final international game of 2023

England were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw during their final international game of 2023

Channel 4 has shown England’s Nations League and European Championship qualifiers over the last few month, winning the rights to do so off ITV in the last round of negotiations.

The channel has come under heavy criticism from fans, with analysis a large part of what has been deemed under par in terms of what viewers are after.

Mail Sport revealed in September, however, that ITV had won the rights back from their rivals, securing a four-year deal to take over from Channel 4 when their agreement ends in 2024.

The channel has a long association with the England side. It had shared coverage with Sky Sports until Channel 4 stepped in last year to take the rights for Nations League and European Qualifiers up to next year’s European Championship. ITV will then share the rights for the tournament with the BBC before their deal kicks in.

The move has been hailed by ITV bosses and comes at a time when the broadcaster is on the front foot despite also often dealing with widespread criticism from viewers with the rights for the Rugby World Cup in France also won.

England supporters chanted that 'Channel 4 is f****** s***' after the full time whistle in Skopje

England supporters chanted that ‘Channel 4 is f****** s***’ after the full time whistle in Skopje

Channel 4 have lost the rights to England games from 2024 with coverage to head back to ITV

Channel 4 have lost the rights to England games from 2024 with coverage to head back to ITV

On the pitch, England will be hoping for a successful tournament which they go into as one of the favourites despite still not winning a major trophy since 1966.

Southgate and Co disappointed in the last international break until March, beating Malta 2-0 at Wembley on Friday but struggling before Monday’s draw against a team who failed to qualify for the Euros.

But England finished their group undefeated, and will hope their experiences of going far in major competitions under Southgate will help their bid to finally lift a trophy in Germany.

The Three Lions will face Brazil and Belgium at Wembley in March 2024 as preparation for the competition. 

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