Match Of The Day's Phil Neville Told Not To Threaten To 'Smash' Players on The Show

Match Of The Day (MOTD) presenters and pundits are being warned to take "extra care" by the BBC after Phil Neville prompted complaints with a joke he would "smash" a player.

The ex-Manchester United and Everton star upset some viewers when he went overboard while talking about he would do to a player if he saw them perform a pass without looking during a training session during Sunday's Match Of The Day 2 programme.

His comments - which he later clarified were meant to be light-hearted - came after Arsenal player Tomas Rosicky pulled off the feat when the Gunners beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 at the weekend.

Viewers heard Neville say: "If that was a training session and somebody did that I'd be first over there and I'd probably look to two-foot him or take him out of the game.

"If somebody did that in training to me, winding me up, I would be straight in there. I'd smash them."

BBC Sport said it would be reminding the programme team to be careful about what they say during live shows, in the wake of Neville's comments.

But MOTD's presenter, Gary Lineker, tweeted:

After receiving angry responses on Twitter, Neville went on to say his comments were not to be taken seriously.

He had even tweeted during the match that the pass was "brilliant".

...which prompted people to tell him to decide which way he felt about it.

Responding to viewer complaints, BBC Sport said: "This comment was not meant to offend in any way, but on reflection, Phil acknowledges that the language he used was unfortunate.

"That said, Mark Chapman did immediately challenge him and the tone of the discussion was light-hearted enough to suggest that the panel were not condoning any kind of violence or setting an example to a younger audience.

"BBC Sport will, however, remind the team to take extra care during discussions during our live programmes."

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