Peter Shilton defends Kevin Keegan over comments on female pundits

Peter Shilton defends Kevin Keegan over his comments on female pundits, saying ‘I can see what he is getting at’ and ex-England manager’s comments have been ‘taken out of context’

  • Keegan said he didn’t like listening to female pundits discussing men’s game
  • Former England goalkeeper Shilton said Keegan shouldn’t be called a ‘dinosaur’
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

Peter Shilton has defended Kevin Keegan amid controversy over the former England manager’s comments on female football pundits.

Keegan, speaking at an event in Bristol, said he didn’t like listening to ‘an England lady footballer’ providing analysis of Gareth Southgate’s team.

‘I don’t think it’s the same experience, I have a problem with that,’ Keegan added.

Former England goalkeeper Shilton said he could ‘see what Keegan was getting at’ but believed the comments had been ‘taken out of context.’

Shilton told GB News: ‘In this day and age with equal opportunities in many things, women and men come together so much.

Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton has defended Kevin Keegan over his controversial comments about female pundits covering men’s football games

Ex-England manager Keegan told an event in Bristol he ‘had a problem’ with female pundits 

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‘I have always been a big supporter of women’s football, especially the last five or six years. Jill Scott when she broke her caps record, the Euros and the World Cup. Women’s football has improved dramatically.

‘Personally, I can see what Kevin was getting at. I think it’s been taken out of context.

‘He was described as a dinosaur but he was managing Manchester City in 2005, so it’s not that long ago. He s a man of big experience who managed England.

‘Basically, what he is actually saying is ‘would women play against men in a men’s game? No, they wouldn’t because of obvious other things.

‘Should a woman who has probably been at the top of her career for the last four or five years in the women’s game, be put in front of someone with 15 years of top class international football? I think that is what he is saying.’

Shilton, England’s most capped men’s player, continued: ‘Personally, I know Kevin very well and I don’t think he would go out of his way to make women’s football any less than it is.

‘It comes down to experience, we are getting a lot of females coming on very quickly and you’re bound to think is this because they’ve been in the news recently, we’re got to have this equal [opportunities], have they got the experience to talk about international football at men’s level?

Eniola Aluko and Gabby Logan alongside Alan Shearer on Amazon’s Premier League coverage 

Keegan singled out BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan for praise in his speech

‘That’s just an opinion, that’s all Kevin was trying to say. He felt that maybe it would be better with someone else.

‘Anybody that is saying anything against equal opportunities – I think they’re twisting it.

‘I just think it has maybe been thrust at the normal football public – men in particular – that we have got to have women on the programme because of the Euros and that sort of thing.

‘It just seems it is a must, we have to have women to justify it. Whether it’s right or whether it’s wrong, it comes down to experience and knowledge.’

Keegan, 72, insisted his view was not intent to belittle women’s football and women’s pundits. 

‘The presenters we have now, some of the girls are so good, they are better than the guys. It’s a great time for the ladies,’ he said.

Alex Scott fronts BBC’s football coverage of both the men’s and women’s game

Karen Carney working for Sky Sports on a Premier League match earlier this year

‘It is a great time for the ladies’ game. When I was England manager [from February 1999 to October 2000], I went to coach the England ladies and I had this perception of what the quality would be like and they were so much better than I thought they were going to be.

‘I joined in and then I thought, ‘I’m getting out of this’. I couldn’t get the bloody ball and one of them nutmegged me, that finished me off.’

He also singled out BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan for praise.

‘There are some very, very good lady presenters and I’m working with one in two days’ time, Terry Yorath’s daughter, Gabby [Logan],’ he said.

However, he claimed women pundits were not in a position to commentate on men’s football.

‘If I see an England lady footballer saying about England against Scotland at Wembley and she’s saying, ‘If I would have been in that position I would have done this’, I don’t think it’s quite the same,’ he said.

‘I don’t think it crosses over that much.’ 


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