Former Chelsea defender Jason Cundy has been criticised for insisting women should not commentate on football matches because their voices are too high-pitched.
Cundy made the claim on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, drawing a stinging response from the show’s co-host Piers Morgan, who branded Cundy a “sexist pig” for his opinion.
Vicki Sparks became the first female commentator for a live World Cup match when she presented Portugal’s Group B clash against Morocco from Moscow last Wednesday.
Cundy told the programme: “I found it a tough listen. I prefer to hear a male voice. For 90 minutes listening to a high-pitched tone isn’t what I want to hear.
“When there’s a moment of drama, which there often is in football, I think that moment needs to be done with a slightly lower voice.”
BBC presenter Jacqui Oatley is “frustrated” by continued criticism of female pundits (Clara Molden/PA Archive)
Cundy is the latest former player to get into trouble for appearing to patronise female pundits, after Patrice Evra clapped an opinion aired by Eni Aluko on ITV last week.
And ITV reporter and presenter Jacqui Oakley responded on Twitter: “Frustrating that this “female commentator” debate is still such an issue, 11 years after my first MotD game and 8 years after I did 7 live World Cup commentaries on 5 Live.
“Voice/style preference is always subjective – to say it “shouldn’t be allowed” says more about the critic.”
Cundy insisted he was not questioning the expertise or otherwise of female presenters, adding: “It’s nothing to do with her insight, the way she delivers it or her knowledge or her ability to do the job – it’s the voice.”