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Galloway urges Cup tie intervention

Sports Minister Helen Grant has been urged to intervene to persuade broadcasters to screen the next step of Bradford City's FA Cup adventure.

The Bantams caused one of the biggest shocks in FA Cup history after they fought back from 2-0 down to triumph 4-2 at Premier League leaders Chelsea in the fourth round.

But the League One side's fifth round home tie with either Sunderland or Fulham has not been selected as one of the live games to be shown by the BBC or BT Sport.

Bradford West MP George Galloway has now raised the snub in Parliament after the decision was slammed by City joint-chairman Mark Lawn.

Mr Galloway said the decision by the BBC and BT Sport "betrays a fundamental lack of knowledge about football" and also about what viewers want to see.

He has asked Ms Grant to "impress on broadcasters the error of this decision" and attempt to persuade them to change it.

Clubs shown live on television in round five receive £247,500.

BT Sport have opted to screen West Bromwich Albion versus West Ham, Crystal Palace versus Liverpool or Bolton and Arsenal versus Middlesbrough.

The BBC have selected Aston Villa versus Leicester City and Preston North End or Sheffield United versus Cambridge United or Manchester United.

Mr Galloway raised Bradford's plight in an early day motion tabled in the Commons.

An EDM is a formal motion submitted for debate in the House of Commons although very few are actually debated.

Mr Galloway's EDM states: "That this House agrees with the joint chairman of Bradford City Football Club, Mark Lawn, that the BBC and BT Sport's decision not to show live the team's forthcoming FA Cup match against Sunderland or Fulham is ridiculous and that the broadcasters have shot themselves in the foot.

"(It) points out City's win at Chelsea was voted the upset of all time by viewers of Match of the Day.

"(It) notes that the Bantams have scored the most goals of any club in the Cup this season.

"(It) further notes that the decision will deprive the Club of some £250,000 in revenue.

"(It) believes that the decision also betrays a fundamental lack of knowledge about football and viewers' popular tastes and urges the Sports Minister to impress on broadcasters the error of this decision and attempt to persuade them to change it."


From Belfast Telegraph