SPOTY faces bitter backlash after handing England football team two awards


Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions side were widely celebrated at the ceremony, though some have claimed it was too much adulation for a team that didn’t actually win

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Emma Raducanu wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year

The Sports Personality of the Year awards have been criticised for their decision to lavish the men’s England football team with praise and accolades, despite the fact they did not win anything.

The main gong of the evening went to teenage tennis sensation Emma Raducanu for her momentous victory at the 2021 US Open, while Olympic duo Tom Daley and Adam Peaty came second and third respectively in the running for the award.

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While viewers were happy with that outcome, the fact the England national side won two awards on the night did not go down well with plenty of those watching at home.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate bagged Coach of the Year, while the entire squad shared the honour of Team of the Year, with many suggesting neither of those awards were warranted given England were beaten by Italy in the final; ensuring their trophy-less period is now 55 years and counting.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Did the England side deserve two awards? Comment below

Gareth Southgate picked up the Coach of the Year gong



It would be disingenuous to suggest 2021 was not an amazing year for the England football team, reaching their first major final since the heroics of 1966.

However, in a year littered with sporting excellence in just about every other direction across multiple different sports it could be argued there were participants more worthy of taking home those awards.

Fresh after seeing his side named Team of the Year, Southgate said: “They are a team. What appealed to people is that from the youngest to the oldest, they pulled together through the whole summer.

“They represented the country brilliantly off and on the pitch.”

However, pit against the likes of Team GB winners and Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League winning Chelsea side, the reaction on social media was one that suggested justice had not been done in this category.

In response to England confirming Southgate’s status as Coach of the Year on twitter, one user responded: “Pathetic…terrible decision…even worse a team that did not win anything gets team of the year!”

Their sentiments were echoed by another twitter user, who compared England’s Euro 2020 efforts to those of the successful Solheim Cup team.

“How the hell can the England football team be team of the year?? Only nominee not to win something,” they explained.

Many viewers accused the England side of being undeserving of their Team of the Year award

“They managed to not win at home in front of their own fans when Solheim cup team won away with no support.”

The backlash continued long after the ceremony had finished, one viewer writing: “England football team winning sports team of the year = joke right?? For what exactly?”

One even accused both the England manager and squad as being ungracious in the face of defeat after Italy toppled them on penalties, claiming: “So Gareth Southgate was coach of the year and England were team of the year even though they were the sorest bunch of losers I have ever seen at a international cup final by ditching their medals.”

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