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Fans fume over BBC gaffe showing photo of Chelsea's Sterling in EPL rape case report

The BBC has apologised on-air after being fiercely criticised for mistakenly flashing up a picture of Raheem Sterling while reporting on a player who has been arrested on suspicion of rape.

football Fans fume over BBC gaffe showing photo of Chelsea Raheem Sterling in premier league rape case report snt
London, First Published Jul 15, 2022, 6:17 PM IST

In a massive blunder, BBC faced enormous criticism for mistakenly flashing a picture of Chelsea's Raheem Sterling while reporting on a Premier League player who has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of rape. 

The broadcaster reported that the club, whose player is expected to feature at the Qatar World Cup 2022, is not suspending the 29-year-old star despite having been arrested on rape suspicion.

Also read: Fans outraged after World Cup-bound Premier League star arrested on suspicion of rape

The suspect, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was first detained earlier this month and later detained again for allegedly committing two additional assaults on a different victim.

However, host Mike Bushell appeared with a photo of Sterling, a new Chelsea striker, who is not the person who was arrested, when this most recent development was discussed on BBC News on Thursday morning.

The former Manchester City forward was announced as Chelsea's latest signing on Tuesday, with a price tag of 50 million pounds. His arrival at Stamford Bridge was confirmed yesterday, with pictures of Sterling in his new kit. 

One of these snaps was wrongly displayed on the screen behind Bushell when he gave a rundown of the latest sports headlines on BBC News. 

The host said, "A Premier League player arrested on suspicion of rape has not been suspended and can fulfil his professional…' before tailing off suddenly."  

The picture then flashed off the screen, returning to the BBC Sport title card. Bushell then said, "We'll have more on that story a bit later. I was going to say, they can still travel, the player has not been named, still can travel and fulfil the arrangements of the team's pre-season."

"We don't know the team. We don't know the player either," he added.  

The host then moved swiftly on after the awkward moment by giving updates on hockey. The BBC News channel has since issued an on-air apology following the error in their sports bulletin. 

"In our sports bulletin this morning, owing to a technical error, the wrong picture appeared in connection with the story of a Premier League player arrested over alleged sexual offences. A picture of a different and wholly unconnected player was shown. We apologise for this mistake," the BBC said after the gaffe.

Several football fans took to Twitter to point out the blunder and also slam BBC for using Sterling's photo in the Premier League rape case report.

Also read: 'What a ride': Man City fans thank Sterling after winger bids farewell ahead of Chelsea move

One wrote on Twitter, "Did anyone else just see the BBC News mention a footballer and rape allegations, with a picture of Raheem Sterling, that was suddenly removed and the presenter try to change the subject?! What's going on?"

Here's a look at some of the other reactions on Twitter:

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