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29th Aug 2023

BBC forced to make correction after confusing Man City icon for Luis Rubiales

Callum Boyle

BBC Man City Luis Rubiales

The BBC have released a statement apologising for the incident

The BBC have released a statement apologising for mistakenly confusing disgraced Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales for former Manchester City title winner, Pablo Zabaleta.

Footage of Zabaleta appeared in the broadcast in which the channel addressed the recent situation involving Rubiales in the aftermath of Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory.

The Spanish football federation have called for the country’s FA president, Luis Rubiales, to resign immediately for kissing Jenni Hermoso after their victory against England in the Women’s World Cup Final.

Hermoso herself claims it was not consensual and in response FIFA have suspended the former defender for 90 days after he refused to apologise and resign in a press conference last week.

Rubiales’ mother has also gone on hunger strike and locked herself in a church until the ‘witch hunt’ ends.

BBC’s broadcast on Monday night detailed these events however instead of including Rubiales, accidentally featured a shot of Zabaleta.

Comedian Omid Djalili spotted the incident and shared on social media, saying: “Dear BBC News, you have mistakenly added footage of ex-Man City full-back Pablo Zabaleta in your piece about Rubiales tonight. You need to make a correction immediately.”

A spokesperson for the corporation said: “A production error meant we showed the wrong image in an earlier broadcast. This has now been rectified.”

Zabaleta spent nine years at Man City, winning  two Premier League titles, two Carabao Cups and an FA Cup before leaving in 2017 to join West Ham.

An emergency meeting was held by regional leaders of the RFEF who called Rubiales’ behaviour “unacceptable” and requested that he stand down immediately.

A preliminary investigation was carried out by prosecutors yesterday on the grounds that the kiss could constitute an offence of sexual assault.

Prosecutors said Hermoso, who denied the kiss was consensual, will be contacted and offered the opportunity to file a lawsuit against Rubiales.

RFEF leaders released a statement yesterday (August 28) claiming that Rubiales has “seriously damaged the image of Spanish football”.

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