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BBC World Cup Advert Is Under Fire For Being “Ignorant And Insensitive”

While the men’s football World Cup has brought some drama and excitement to our dark November evenings, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t brought with it some complications.

Its host country Qatar has attracted criticism for its poor record on women’s rights, migrant workers’ rights and LGBTQIA+ rights, due to the fact that homosexuality is illegal. 

Concerns have also been raised about the proven rise in domestic violence in the UK when England loses in the football. But that’s not all.

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The BBC’s World Cup advert has come under fire for a very strange attitude towards selfish and inconsiderate behaviour towards others during the football tournament, which many see as endorsing a ‘boys will be boys’ mentality. Basically, when the football’s on, men can behave however they like. And that includes being a bit of a d*ck.

It makes the following generalised statements about our behaviour when the World Cup is on: “Mothers listen less” – as a child tries to get her mum’s attention in the background – “neighbours talk too much”, “employees seem less effective”, “employers don’t seem to care”, “lovers are more distant”. 

It’s summed up with “all etiquette goes out the window, and people are less respectful”.

The advert has been met with backlash on Twitter, with one user posting: “It’s so weird that the BBC’s world cup advert is just ‘football turns you into a selfish a***hole’.

Another tweeted: “Pretty perturbed by the ‘it’s the World Cup though’ BBC advert. At best, ignorant and insensitive.”

Others have pointed out the other very important issues that have been ignored here: “the bbc world cup advert has the worst “ignore the human rights abuses, it’s the world cup!” vibe” one tweet reads, while another user posted the following:

“What on earth is going on with that @BBC world cup advert? I genuinely thought it was going to be a domestic abuse PSA? The take home seemed to be “everyone is a prick during the world cup….but fuck it. It’s only once every 4 years.”

However exciting the World Cup might be, it doesn’t seem that others are pushing back against the notion that we should put up with disrespectful behaviour because of it, especially considering the very pressing political issues that surround the tournament.

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