Kevin Keegan criticised for saying he doesn’t like ‘lady footballers’ talking about men’s game
Former England manager Kevin Keegan has courted controversy after saying he does not like listening to ‘lady footballers’ talking about their male counterparts.
The 72-year-old was speaking at An Evening With Kevin Keegan OBE in Bristol last Friday when he made the questionable comments – though he was largely full of praise for the women’s game and its development in recent years.
What did Kevin Keegan say?
Around 250 people were in attendance and his remarks drew a ripple of applause, with Keegan of the belief that women footballers are not qualified to critique the men’s game.
In comments relayed by The Times, Keegan is quoted as saying: ‘I’m not as keen [on female pundits], I’ve got to be honest, and it may not be a view shared.
‘I don’t like to listen to ladies talking about the England men’s team at the match because I don’t think it’s the same experience. I have a problem with that.’
He continued: ‘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.
‘But 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. I don’t think it crosses over that much.’
Keegan’s support for women’s football
Despite his criticism of female pundits, Keegan insists he is a big supporter of the women’s game.
‘It is a great time for the ladies’ game,’ he said.
‘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.’
Keegan’s criticism of modern commentators
Keegan, who used to work as a TV pundit but has not done so for some time, was also critical of modern commentators and feels they ‘talk too much’.
He added: ‘I worked with Brian Moore who was the best. At a World Cup final he would say, “Kevin, don’t talk too much let the pictures do the talking.”
‘A lot of the pundits now talk too much. Don’t keep talking, talking, talking. They don’t want people like us any more, our day is gone, it’s time for the next generation.
‘There are some very, very good lady presenters and I’m working with one in two days’ time, Terry Yorath’s daughter, Gabby [Logan].’
Reaction to Keegan’s comments
Keegan’s comments have been met with criticism from some quarters, with many pointing out that female pundits are just as qualified as their male counterparts to comment on