BBC One's coverage of Euro 2020 came under heavy scrutiny following the collapse of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen today (June 12).
During his nation's match against tournament debutants Finland, the midfielder needed urgent medical assistance, resulting in the game being temporarily suspended.
Eriksen's wife and teammates were visibly distressed at pitch level as doctors applied CPR and the crowd waited anxiously. Yet the cameras continued to film the harrowing goings-on. The player was since confirmed to be in stable conditions.
Incensed by the BBC not cutting back to the studio sooner, one viewer wrote on Twitter: "BBC cut straight over to Eriksen's paining wife as soon as his teammates blocked them from filming him.."
"The media should know when to turn away/off their cameras. Of what gain is it filming a man gasping for breathe? Speedy recovery Christian Eriksen," and "Shame on the #BBC for continuing to film Christian Eriksen whilst he was fighting for his life, whilst his teammates tried to protect his privacy, as well as filming his wife. Disgusting," read two more reactions.
With social media aflame with messages criticising the broadcaster's decision to continue its coverage, an official spokesperson told Digital Spy in a statement: "Everyone at the BBC is hoping Christian Eriksen makes a full recovery. We apologise to anyone who was upset by the images broadcast.
"In stadium coverage is controlled by UEFA as the host broadcaster, and as soon as the match was suspended, we took our coverage off air as quickly as possible."
DS has also reached out to UEFA for comment.
The same statement was then delivered to viewers by BBC presenter Gary Lineker when the game resumed.
He also addressed the backlash by tweeting: "We will be back on air at 7.25 on @bbcone. I understand some of you would have been upset with some of the images shown (we were too).
"Obviously these were the host pictures and out of our control. They should have stayed on a wide of the stadium. Apologies."
In a second tweet he later added: "In 25 years of doing this job, that was the most difficult, distressing and emotional broadcast I’ve ever been involved with. Thanks to @cesc4official [Cesc Fàbregas Soler] @AlexScott @MicahRichards for your professionalism, warmth and empathy. Get well soon, Christian Eriksen."
Many other viewers united in praising the BBC team for the way they handled the situation.
Many of those watching the live broadcast particularly empathised with Scott's remark about messaging her mum to tell her she loves her.
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