BBC Scotland suspends Off the Ball presenter Tam Cowan over Daily Record column slating women's football

By Stephen Lepitak | -

September 29, 2013 | 3 min read

BBC Scotland has suspended ‘Off the Ball’ co-presenter Tam Cowan over comments he made in a newspaper column attacking women's football.

The presenter was replaced shortly before hosting yesterday’s programme on BBC Radio Scotland, with The Sunday Herald reporting that his position is now under review.

Writing in his column for The Daily Record, Cowan offered his reaction to Scotland’s women’s World Cup qualifier on Thursday night, stating that the stadium, Fir Park “should have torched” in order to “cleanse” it of the game, which he described as a "turgid spectacle".

Cowan, a life-long supporter of Motherwell FC, who play at Fir Park, stated that “BBC Alba must be scraping the bottom of the barrel if they’re now broadcasting this tosh live.”

Later he would write: "Face it, folks, nobody cares about women’s football. There was barely a thousand inside the ground, shocking for an international in any sport, and I guess putting the girlies head-to-head with Emmerdale and Eastenders was a bit daft."

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The piece, which knowingly included an image of Cowan's head pasted over the body of 'Life on Mars' chauvinist detective Gene Hunt's body, alongside the headline "And now a message from the dark ages" has provoked an angry response. This has led to the newspaper’s editor Alan Rennie adding a statement at the bottom, stating: “Folks, we would like to point out Tam is a professional funnyman and what he has to say should be taken with a large pinch of salt. Also, his views are not necessarily those of the Daily Record as a whole.”

A spokesperson for BBC Scotland, said: "Given the comments in his column, it would have been inappropriate for Mr Cowan to appear on the show."


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