Emma Raducanu was crowned this year’s Sports Personality of the Year winner, seeing off the likes of Adam Peaty and Tom Daley to bag the prize. While BBC viewers were unanimous in their praise for the teenage tennis star, it was a pair of other awards earlier in the ceremony which sparked uproar online. The men’s England football team bagged Team of the Year while manager Gareth Southgate landed the Coach of the Year gong – but it’s safe to say many felt their loss in the Euro 2020 final didn’t warrant the accolade.
It has been an incredible year for the England team and Southgate as together they took the country to its first major tournament final in over 50 years, in which they lost to Italy.
However, both parties faced fierce opposition in their respective categories – from Team GB Olympics winner to Thomas Tuchel’s Champion’s League victory.
So when it transpired Southgate and England had both won, many SPOTY viewers weren’t impressed.
Taking to Twitter following the wins, Twitter user @DMCI689908 expressed their dismay: “Just turned on sports personality of the year saw England football team win team of the year. Just turned off #SPOTY.”
While @DragonWales9 firmly put: “What has happened to SPOTY?! Losing all credibility. Team of the year…really! Coach of the year…really! In an Olympic year a team that comes 2nd contributes to two of the main awards.”
And Andy Rockall weighed in:” Team of the Year, Coach of the year – Dreadful decision. Good coach, nice guy. P**s poor choice.#SPOTY.”
Former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan even got involved, tweeting: “The #SPOTY Team of the Year award going to a team that didn’t win anything perfectly epitomises the absurd new fad of celebrating sporting losers. There’s more kudos/silverware to be had in failing or quitting than actually coming first.”
The handing of the prizes came as Hannah Cockroft joined Alex Scott and Gary Lineker on stage to hand over the award for Team of the Year.
In the shortlist alongside the England team were Team GB Swimming, Chelsea FC Men, Chelsea FC Women, England Women’s Rugby Union, GB Wheelchair Rugby, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewitt, Manchester City Men, Team Europe (Golf), St Helens Women’s Team and St Helens Men’s Team.
After England were announced as winners, Southgate and was joined on stage with player Jude Bellingham and coach Steve Holland to accept the award.
Lineker then kept the trio on stage to announce the Coach of the Year Award, reeling off Southgate’s fellow nominees beforehand.
They included Catriona Matthew, Emma Hayes, Thomas Tuchel, Mel Marshall and Jane Figueiredo.
After winning both awards, Southgate praised his fellow nominees before paying tribute to those who with England behind the scenes.
“I know a lot of the coaches there who are outstanding, we’ve got some brilliant talent in this country,” he told Lineker and Scott.
“I can’t do that without Steve in particular, without all the staff that work with the team.
“Managing in football now is a very complex business and yeah, so I’m very fortunate I work with very talented people and they make it easier for me.”
The Sports Personality of the Years Awards are available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.
Published at Sun, 19 Dec 2021 21:14:00 +0000